My rooster is 16 months old, and just now I went out to give him and his hens fresh water before bed. It was in the low 20s Fahrenehit here today.
I saw him try to mate with one of the hens. I haven't seen him try to mate for weeks; it has been so cold here. The mating didn't seem successful, he kind of rolled off her back.
I suspect that when I went to get them some food he tried again...
When I came back I was horrified to see that it looked as if the hen's comb had been severed at the back! The rooster and hens have been together since they hatched, and there have been no problems of this sort in the past.
On closer inspection, I'm not sure the comb is ripped. It may just be bloody.
It is dark now, and I can't go in the coop to inspect things. The rooster is always too feisty when I am around.
Do you think the other chickens may peck at the bloody comb? I have 5 chickens total-- the rooster, two half leghorn hens of the same age, a 3 year old Barred Rock hen and a tiny Bantie hen.
How early should I get up in the morning to let them out, in order to prevent pecking at the bloodied comb?
Do you think the bloody injury will cause the hen to get bad frostbite in her comb tonight? It is to be below freezing.
Always something new and horrible to worry about when you have chickens. And things were going so well. I had just bragged about how the rooster has never injured a hen before.
Could her comb have been more susceptible to injury due to the cold weather we are having?