Advice needed...cull or not to cull...that is the question

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by vogelsgirl63, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. vogelsgirl63

    vogelsgirl63 New Egg

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    Hello all! I am still pretty inexperienced at this chicken business so I am seeking advice. I have a flock of 13; 12 hens and one SLW roo that was "supposed" to be a hen lol. The roo will be a year in March. He has singled out one of my hens, Rose, my 5 year old Columbian Wyandotte that was given to me - my FIRST chicken. He has been chasing her off from food and she has distanced herself and been hiding from him. Until the other day, he had not hurt her tho. She has always submitted to him so this is not mating related. He has attacked her now and her comb is bloodied, he tore her side wattle away from her ear and it is dangling and she has a half dollar size wound at the base of her neck. Once blood was drawn, he was just STALKING her, like trying to hurt her some more. I have cleaned her wounds and am treating them with Vetrycin. She is separated in my second coop by herself until she heals. I am puzzled, he is not aggressive to me, my husband or any of the other hens. If I separate HIM for a time will it do any good? Should we just cull him? Why would he hurt just one hen? His job is to protect, not hurt. Is he just young and stupid? Any advice is appreciated!!! Thanks!!
    Kim
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

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    I have had only one experience with a White Leghorn Roo, he was ever so gentle & my daughter (3yrs) at that time would carry him around. But I can't keep Roos where I live now and the more I read, sounds like "Big Boy" was the exception to the rule. I'm sure others with more experience and there are alot of them on BYC will be able to help you.

    If he was mine, he'd get rehomed or in the crock pot or keep Rose separated from him. Good luck, sorry I'm not much help.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Rooster behavior can bet a bit "tricky" for me. I'm still learning.

    Has she been ill at all - have you noticed any decline in her health?

    His behavior towards Rose sound like he is trying to drive her away because he thinks she's ill or somehow a "weak link" in the flock. Have you noticed if any of the other hens are aggressive toward her?

    To be honest, I don't think separating him will do any good. If he sees Rose as a "threat" to the flock because of illness/decline, then he is trying protecting the flock.

    Just my thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Do you need or want a rooster? If not, give him away. If you do, cull the hen. This is not a flock problem, but a bird problem. It's likely your hen was the dominant hen and now you have a rooster that is challenging for dominance. If she were a dominant rooster, the behavior would be the same...he would challenge, they would fight, the victor would win. As she is a hen, she can't really meet him on the same playing ground.

    Then again, he could be singling her out due to a hidden health issue that you cannot see...could be that she's at the end of her laying life and he's driving a barren hen out of the flock. Could be any of these things but in the end, you either want the rooster or the hen the most.
     
  5. vogelsgirl63

    vogelsgirl63 New Egg

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    Thank you for your thought! I have not noticed anything healthwise with Rose, but she is getting old for a hen - 5 years. Flock dynamics seems to be more intricate than I thought. It would be easier if they all just got along! Lol. Guess I just need to make a decision who to keep. She started laying again, but may be towards the end of her cycle. Thanks again! Love this site! So much knowledge to share with us newbies!
    Kim
     
  6. vogelsgirl63

    vogelsgirl63 New Egg

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    Thank you, Beekissed. Your response helps me a lot!! Rose was the dominant hen when I introduced my new chicks this last spring. I see that now as Sarge has matured what you are saying is clear. Tough decision, I just want them all to get along! Lol. Rose has started laying again but yes, she is probably nearing the end of her cycle. She is 5 years old. I don't NEED a rooster but as so many of them die at hatcheries and by people that CANNOT have roosters, I just thought I could save one....it's still not an easy decision especially since I have gotten attached to my birds. Thank you again. I love this site and appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me about flock dynamics! ;)
    Kim
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    YW! The decision to cull a bird is always a hard one...but time goes on and you learn what maintains a socially healthy atmosphere within a flock and that makes it easier to make the hard choices. A peaceful flock is greatly to be desired. I wish you success with your flock! [​IMG]
     
  8. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with ChickNanny, unless you are in love with this guy, get rid of him one way or the other.
     
  9. vogelsgirl63

    vogelsgirl63 New Egg

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    Thank you, Weehopper!
     

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