Aggression toward just one hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wamtazlady, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A week and a half ago I found my Jersey Giant hen cowering in the nesting box. The whole back of her head was a bloody mess. Since then I've had her in my screened porch and she has healed up nicely. She even started to lay eggs a few days ago. I've always thought she was the Alpha hen.

    This morning she ran out the door when I went out to feed the chickens and geese. Immediately the cockerel was on her, attacking. She got away and hid away from him. I'd bring her back in the porch but she won't let me get near enough to pick her up.

    As to the cockerel. He hatched mid August from a hen who hid her nest from me. His father was put down for being people aggressive. He was the only cockerel of the batch of 10 chicks. I do not plan on keeping him. I had a Salmon Faverolles rooster that I loved but he got taken by a fox one evening when I was too ill to lock the chickens up and the roommate was late getting home to do it for me. I have 3 Salmon Faverolles male chicks coming in April. Will keep one and share the other 2 with neighbors who want one.

    This aggression to just one hen seems strange to me. He wasn't trying to breed with her or at least it didn't look that way. I guess my question is whether a cockerel or rooster can take a big dislike to a hen or not.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    If that roo were in my yard, he wouldn't last a day before meeting my crock pot. there is absolutely no room in a flock for a roo of such poor demeanor.
     
  3. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've come to that conclusion also. Just came in from checking on the birds. There are black feathers scattered around. She's hiding behind a snow bank. He was in the pen so I locked him up so he can't attack her again. Just gotta figure out how to catch him. I'd like to catch him sleeping, but I can't get to the clean out door yet. Still have 3 1/2 feet of snow in front of it. Might have to get a couple neighbors to help me corner him.

    I still don't understand why he has done this to just one of the hens.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Do you have a fishing net, or any other kind of net?
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I've had an otherwise mellow cock take after one hen in particular...never did figure out why.
    He never really hurt her physically and let her 'hide in plain sight', but it went on for a couple months at least.
    She was the only bird he ever took a disliking to.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Did he eventually get over his dislike for her? Was she laying at the time?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  8. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay. Kinda good to know that it has happened to someone else. It's a little extreme here as I'm sure he would actually kill her if I didn't intervene.

    I have them separated again. Will deal with the cockerel in a day or two as the neighbors are too busy today to help catch him.
     
  9. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sporadically having the same problem currently and I'm unsure how I want to proceed.

    The BR hen that ran things for the longest time and my Cochin packing peanut roo have tangled from time to time. Sometime around Christmas I guess she had exactly the same sort of thing happen, where the back of her head was torn up and nasty. She got isolation for a few days while it cleaned up.

    When returned her I made a point to keep the birds all in the run, and walk her back in. He chased her for a minute, so I cornered him, and carried him around by his legs for a few minutes. Embarrassing his pompous backside. That took care of it for a while.

    About a month ago while I was putting feed out, he jumped at her as she approached a pan, but he had to go past me, and almost got me in his desire to get to her.

    I chucked a feed scoop at him. He laid there and hollered for a few minutes. At this point I was beyond caring. He was fine and back up in a couple minutes. Again, fixed it for a while.

    Now the other night as I was giving scratch before they went up for the night, he ran her off as she came around the coop to get scratch. I chased him off.

    It's wearing thin. Frankly, at this point though, I don't want to be without a rooster With 14 hens, I know I could probably bring in another roo to transition before eliminating him, I'm just putting it off because there is so much else going on that I don't really want to bother with this at the moment. She's not getting the beatings she did earlier, he just tries to run her off from time to time.

    Either way, it's not just you, that's for sure.
     
  10. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting. My hen that is getting beat up was also the Alpha hen. There might be something about that that makes the rooster feel a need to put her down.
     

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