Can I do anything to help or should I re-home?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by letitiah81, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. letitiah81

    letitiah81 Chirping

    Oct 3, 2015
    I have a Barred Rock Hen who is very unhappy. She is the favorite him to all my boys. They will not stay off of her. She has become very worried and isolates herself from the group. She often spends the night in my garage instead of the coop and will hide out inside out buildings as much as possible. She clucks to herself all the time. She will eat but only when I stand guard over her and keep the boys away. Her back is raw and she seems traumatized. No other hen in my flock has this problem. I have tried putting her up in a small hutch by herself for a week once. She had begun limping, I think from the boys being on her all the time. I let her heal and let her back out but the assault continues. Is there anything I can do or do I need to try to find an all hen flock to re-home her with. I currently have 22 chickens and three roosters so there is no reason they should all pick on her. I like my chickens to be happy and this one is very far from happy.

  2. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Songster

    Jul 19, 2016
    How big is there run?
  3. letitiah81

    letitiah81 Chirping

    Oct 3, 2015
    They free range.
  4. peeper89

    peeper89 Songster

    Feb 21, 2017
    how many boys u have?
    howmany girls u have?

    sound like to many boys get rid them if u not hatch eggs. she is being hurt u need protect her. give her own place to live then another can get all beat up it will continue

  5. letitiah81

    letitiah81 Chirping

    Oct 3, 2015
    22 hens and 3 roos. Really it is just 2 of the roos who won't leave her alone and they are really good roosters.
  6. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Songster

    Feb 3, 2016
    Well 1 rooster to 10 Hens is considered the ideal ratio. Your ratio is closer to 1 in 7. Is there a reason you have so many grown boys in the flock?
  7. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    What breed(s) are the rest? How old are they?

    Personally I would reduce the roo count to one and only one. That means making decisions. Keep the least human aggressive? Keep the best protector? Keep the biggest? Keep the smallest?

    The answers depend on the long term goals.

  8. Louise Waffles

    Louise Waffles Chirping

    Feb 1, 2017
    You can set up a bachelor pad for your roos, let her have some peace for a while. I had to do this for my drakes as they were wearing out my female ducks. They got a paddock in my yard, all to themselves, and everyone did fine.

    Get your hen an apron to protect her back from sun/roosters/etc. I cut up old jeans for my hen, it worked pretty well. Take a squarish piece of the denim and cut holes to slip her wings through, or if you can sew, put some elastic on to keep around the wings.

    How old are your roosters? This may be a maturity issue, they lack finesse until they are a little older. They could settle down, and problem solved.

    Best of luck :)
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    How old are they and how long has this been going on? Is it all three males? If they are still pullets and cockerels they might outgrow it, but then again they might not. The more you can tell us the better guesses we can make.

    It’s really hard to know what is going on. It’s extremely rare but I once had a chicken just take an intense dislike to another. They all have their own personalities and sometimes those personalities just clash. I’ve only seen that once across the years.

    I have seen an older hen not accept a cockerel’s authority when he tried to take over the flock. He just wasn’t mature enough to convince her he should be the one in charge. Up to a certain point she was beating him up, but when he finally matured enough he started fighting back. She was flock master and did not want to give that position up. For two days he chased her and attacked her, but eventually she accepted him as flock master and they became best buddies.

    When I have a problem, I try to determine if it is a flock problem or a single chicken problem. That way I don’t treat the entire flock for a single chicken problem. And hopefully I address the root cause. I’m not there watching them but it sounds to me that it might be a single chicken problem, the hen. If they are still immature, especially the males, you might solve the problem by isolating her and reintroducing her when they mature. If it is just one male leading the assault, you might have to decide between a male and the female. I have removed a female when she was disrupting the peace and tranquility of the flock. I don’t always blame the rooster.

    Why do you want males? The only reason you “need” a male is if you want fertile eggs. Every other reason is personal preference. If you can still meet your goals getting rid of one, two, or even three males might be your best answer to a peaceful flock.

    One specific member of this forum that free ranges large numbers of hens and roosters has noticed that, when given a choice, the optimum number of hens to rooster ratio is around 7 hens per rooster. Each mature rooster carves out his territory and attracts what hens he can to his territory. Of course there are exceptions but he noticed that a 7 to 1 seems to be the most common.

    That 10 to 1 ratio is used by hatcheries that use the pen breeding system to assure fertility of the eggs. It is about fertility of the eggs. It also helps with genetic diversity. It does not affect rooster behavior. Free ranging is a totally different situation from pen breeding. That 10 to 1 ratio is irrelevant in this situation. You see that 10 to 1 ratio all over this forum. 10 to 1 makes a very nice flock, but it has no bearing on this type of behavior.

    I don’t know your goals, why you have chickens, or what your priorities are. It’s hard to know what the right answer for you is.

  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging 8 Years

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Can we see a picture of the victimized hen?

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