Can Someone Answer WHY Rooster Killed Hen?????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Up-the-Creek, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Up-the-Creek

    Up-the-Creek Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2008
    West Virginia
    I have a rooster who is about 7 months old. Yesterday I noticed he was chasing this one particular hen, a BO who was still in molt. (All my hens are just now coming out of molt and everyone is being more vocal and the rooster has been more "active".) He had chased her into a nestbox and he was picking at her at trying to pull her out of the nestbox. At this time her head was bleeding a little. By the time it was time to roost all was well. This morning I had an appt. to keep, but I checked on them before I left and all was well. When I returned home I found her laying in a corner barely breathing and badly picked and bleeding. Her neck was tore through the skin and her back was tore up and bleeding. The other hens all looked to be clean of no blood and was paying her no attention, and at this time the rooster wasn't either, but he was covered in blood. Now he has never been aggresive toward nobody and he has never attacked none of my other hens. This hen in particular was the last that was molting and she still wasn't laying and not fully feathered, her head was pale. Could there have been something wrong with her and he took care of business (if that is even possible??) or do I have a aggresive rooster who needs to be culled??? Thanks. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  2. SycolinWoodsChickens

    SycolinWoodsChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    My vote is cull the rooster.

    I'm not sure I've read anywhere about good roosters that kill their hens. I have read about flocks turning on sick or injured birds but if it was just the roo then he'd already be gone from our flock. (I'm a newbie but I personally wouldn't keep a hen or roo that killed another in my flock).
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Cull the rooster!
  4. Tropical Chook

    Tropical Chook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2010
    I think it really depends on how you as the owner feel about your roo. I would wait and see if he does it again, and if he did, I would cull. Sometimes animals do things that we as humans simply don't understand. I've had to cull two young roosters a short while ago due to the injuries they sustained from my head roo. With that said, my head roo never attacked them. He simply did what head roosters do when they are challenged by fools. Some would say I should cull him, but as I know him so well, I know that he is by no means a problem roo, and he is a real gentleman. He looks after all the hens, and small chicks. He even often allows the younger roosters to eat before he does, but if the challenge him, he doesn't pull his punches. Considering mine is a Shamo fighting cock, I think he is superb in that he tolerates everyone else in the flock.

    So, if you feel you don't want to take a chance, then cull, but like I said, I would wait and see if your rooster displays similar behavior again before making a decision.
  5. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    My BO injuried one of my pullets and she died later that night.. I removed her after seeing him sorta dragging her backwards.. by the neck.. He left the next day.. Happy hens, chicks, and ME!!! Still don't have a replacement roo and not sure I want one.. I will be buying fertile eggs or chicks--when I need them.. The roos will not stay.. I might get one when I move to the farm but I might not..
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    While I can see Tropical Chook's point that it may have been an isolated incident/would never happen again, that rooster would be SO gone before the next morning's crow if he'd killed one of my girls. [​IMG]
  7. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Yup.. kill him.
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Roo probably did not mean to kill, he wanted to mate and being only 7 months old does not really know how to control himself. That said, if you find him agressive, who needs is gene pool anyway. Find a good roo. Or, if there is some reason you like that one, he should grow out of hen chasing frenzies within the next year.
  9. Up-the-Creek

    Up-the-Creek Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2008
    West Virginia
    As I said before he has never displayed any aggression toward anyone or the other hens. He mates with the other hens and never has hurt one. He is a very good protector and has so far done his rooster job real well. I believe after doing more research I believe it would be jumping the gun to cull him at this point. I will watch for any other bad behaviour and take it from there. I believe that there may have been a problem with the hen, she had been acting differently for awhile. He is not a game rooster he is a Partridge Rock/Barred Rock cross that I raised. Thanks for everyones opinions. [​IMG]
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Quote:This may have been some of the problem. Once bleeding starts, some chickens, hens or roos, are relentless and will further injure or kill the one bleeding. I'd keep an eye out for that in the future. I think I'm with you, I'd probably wait and see how things are over the next few days before culling. Good luck.

    edited because I'm tired and I thought I was bolding the part where you said she was bleeding a little, but guess I erased it instead. Goodnight!
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010

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