Bloody headed cotrunix hens!


In the Brooder
Feb 14, 2017
And now a rooster too. I noticed a bloody headed hen on Monday and thought it was one of the 3 roosters in the pen. We went away for a couple days and now there are two hens in bad shape and even what I thought was the culprit rooster has some blood on his head.

The pen has 3 roosters and 16 hens, all hatched and raised together. I had a lot more roosters, but did a cull a few weeks ago and things calmed down. I don't have an easy way to separate the roosters as my second pen has 1 roo and 9 hens already in it. Is this all likely to be mating behavior? How much could be pecking order stuff?

I am rapidly becoming less than enthused about keeping roosters for breeding purposes, since I am mainly in this for eggs and the pleasure of keeping the birds. What is the best course of action? I can see:

- Cull the 3 remaining roosters in the main pen and be done with it.
- Try to figure out a way to separate the roosters for a while until the hens heal (but I don't see how I will not be back to the same problem when I reintroduce them)
- Cull all but one rooster to calm down the infighting
- Something else? I don't much want to lose hens, so any and all suggestions are welcome.
I was in a similar situation with the same number of birds but 2 roosters. I eventually left only one after being tired to separate them for healing purposes. The only choices that will work is to keep one or no roosters at all.

Well, I am now down to 1 rooster in the main pen, a big monster that is just shy of 300 grams. Things are already calmer in the pen. I also pulled the two hens that are really beaten up (badly bloodied heads, one may have lost an eye) and put them in a hospital pen (dog transport crate). It occurred to me that if I kept them separate from the main pen they would be likely to be attacked on sight when I put them back in, so I have the hospital propped up so that the wire door of the crate is as close to the flock's favorite spot to sit as I can get it. The crate isn't raccoon proof, so I will have to put these two in my garage every night until I can rejoin them with the rest. Will exposure during the day be enough to keep them from being attacked when they are put back with the rest of the birds (hopefully in a week)?
Are you sure it was from mating/fighting and not from boinking their heads on the top of the cage? Just another possibility you may consider.

I think they would be okay to reintroduce. I find that if you toss in their favorite treats the same time you put in new birds they are too distracted by eating to care about the newbies.
Definitely not from head bonking.

Of course of the two whites I pulled to the hospital cage, one of them started crowing last night. Never again will I keep Texas A&Ms, too hard to reliably sex.

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