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Rooster Spurs?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 

At about what age can a rooster really injure a hen with his spurs?  Does full growth of the spurs correlate with a rooster tending to become meaner, in general, to his hens?

post #2 of 44

     When a roosters spurs grow to about an inch1/2, it is more likely that a hen will get injured while he mates with her. I have never had a rooster become aggressive because of the length of his spurs. If roosters are left without trimming or removal of spurs, and the spurs become very long, they can have trouble walking and hens can get badly injured. 

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post #3 of 44
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info.  My hen had an injury to her comb today that I suspect was done accidentally by the rooster, but I was just wondering whether he might be entering a newly aggressive stage of life?  He hasn't hurt the hens in any way before today.  He's 16 months old, and I've noticed his spurs seem to have matured.  I thought there might be a correlation?  But it sounds like you haven't witnessed such an age-related sudden aggression in your roosters?

post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClareScifi View Post

Thanks for the info.  My hen had an injury to her comb today that I suspect was done accidentally by the rooster, but I was just wondering whether he might be entering a newly aggressive stage of life?  He hasn't hurt the hens in any way before today.  He's 16 months old, and I've noticed his spurs seem to have matured.  I thought there might be a correlation?  But it sounds like you haven't witnessed such an age-related sudden aggression in your roosters?

Roosters sometimes will grab the comb instead of the back of the head, thus, removing a bit of comb or other skin. Some roosters are rough with the hens and try to jump on them whenever one is near,  while some other roosters are more laid back and give hens their space. 

 

If you do notice your rooster is being rough with your hens a lot, you should probably remove him and put him in a crate where he can see his girls, so he cannot  injure them. 

 

Whenever I have an aggressive rooster w/ hens or people, I don't breed them. They'll pass on some grumpy genes to the new babies. 


Edited by JerseyGiantfolk - 1/30/13 at 7:37am

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post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info.  Wouldn't he be awfully confined in a crate?  I would think a big pen just for him would be ideal?

post #6 of 44
From what I’ve seen, a rooster is more likely to do damage with his claws than spurs. They are living animals and anything can happen, but most of the time I see damage is with an adolescent rooster that really does not have much in the way of spurs. Usually when they mature, their technique gets better and the hens cooperate better so there is less chance of damage. So longer spurs usually correlates to a rooster being better with and to his hens because he has matured.

I have trouble imagining how a rooster could hurt a hen’s comb with his spurs. I guess it’s possible but I really have trouble imagining how. When a rooster grabs the back of a hen’s head during the mating ritual, that is a signal to her to raise her tail out of the way. It helps him keep his balance and better positions him to hit the target too. He may have accidentally grabbed her comb instead of her feathers, but I would not be shocked if it were caused by her catching it in some sharp point, like maybe a sharp wire, or maybe another hen damaged it in a pecking order fight. It’s really hard to say unless you saw it happen.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #7 of 44

I have never known any of my roosters to have hurt a hen with their spurs.  Some have really long spurs also.  The spurs are curved upwards so they are out of the way when mating.  They are deigned for stabbing at other roosters 'face to face' when they are fighting to be top roo.

 

My 4 roosters are very good with the hens and never attack them.  They find nice bugs or other tasty things and cluck and dance about until  the hens come running. 

 

Sometimes even a hen encourages a rooster to mate by crouching down in front of him after eating the treat. 

 

I only hand minor problems with a rooster chasing a hen when he was a 'teenager'.  As they get older they clam down and it all not so exciting for them, and the hens also want to mate when they are older - young pullets just like to run off! Also my older roosters would run over to chase off the teenager one if he was trying to mate with a hen and she was making a fuss.

post #8 of 44

I'll have to agree wIth Ridgenunner 100%.  A roosters toe nails will more likely cause injuries to a hens' back than a rooster's spurs are ever likely to draw blood from her comb. 

 

 old.gif  Way back in the dim dark past when we humans were more in tune with, more knowledgeable about, and a heck of a lot more involved in the goings on in the chicken coop, the hen-rooster mating ritual was known as "treading."  Thank about that.  So just maybe your rooster needs a perdicure.

 

Because the injury is on the comb: a prediator scaring the chickens and causing them to fly or nun into the wire, (kids running and playing around the coop will do the same thing) or a dust up between two hens is much more likely the reason. 

Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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post #9 of 44
Thread Starter 

Oh, I never suspected that spurs or nails caused the injury to my hen's comb.  I am just worried he might be entering a mean phase, and that spurs COULD be a cause of injury to hens in the future, as I have read some posts about such being the case in some instances.  A friend e-mailed me about how her rooster had spurred her hen and how she almost didn't see the injury, since it was somewhat hidden from view.

 

There were no children nor predators around the injured hen yesterday.  And the injury occurred shortly after I saw the first mating attempt by the rooster since back in November.  That first mating attempt was quite awkward, just like when he was first beginning to mate for the first time last spring.  He sort of rolled off her without accomplishing the task.  I saw no sign of injury at that time.  I believe I went in the house to get their food container and came back out shortly and that is when I saw the injury.

 

My guess is that he tried mating a second time and accidentally caught her comb with his very sharp beak.  I don't know, though.  I've never seen the other hens beat up on this girl, and I can't think of anything she could have got caught on that is sharp.  He does have a very sharp beak.

 

I hope it was just a freak accident and not the start of some sort of roughness on the part of the rooster.  The girl who is injured is the sweetest of the hens, the only one who would squat for him last spring when he was first starting to mate.  None of the others would give him the time of day back then, as he was such a neophyte at the mating process.  :>)

post #10 of 44

Roosters that have started mating will not be experts. My OEGB cockerel would grab my OEGB pullet by the hackles and pull her down on her side, but soon he figured out how to mate. 

 

One of my roosters will not cope with another flock of 3 hens I have. He'll chase them till they start panting, jab them with one of his spurs, and not mate with them... but stand on them and make clucking "food here" sounds and his flock ladies will come and start ripping out the captured hens feathers... has anyone have a rooster who does this? When he's in his own pen, and I let out his ladies, they get along with the others...

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