Chickens attacking one hen

borzoimom

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 24, 2012
19
0
32
Indiana
I have a small chicken flock, 5 hens and 1 rooster. They have been together their whole life, since last July. All the hens are laying, They spend their nights in a coop with attached run and during the day they free range on our property (5 acres). Three days ago the rooster (Favorolle) started attacking one of the Australorp hens, I mean really going after her (wings spread, head down, feathers puffed and grabbing her anywhere he can get to, it definitely is not mating) Then yesterday, the favarolle hen began pecking the same hen if she came too close to her. I checked the Australorp for anything amiss. The only thing I can see is she now has a bald spot on the back of her head, funny thing is it is not bloody, but red and textured like a comb, but not raised! But it is a good 1/4" behind her intact normal comb so unsure of what that is ( I first noticed the red spot about 2-3 weeks ago, Back to the rooster; the poor hen either stays in the coop or out in our yard alone during the day whick worries me that she won't have the protection of the flock. I don't want to lose this hen as she is my best layer. What is going on and what can I do? If it makes any difference, the flock consists of 2 Australorps, 2 Favorolles, and 2 Cochins.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,293
33,324
1,122
Colorado Rockies
Your victim has something wrong with her, and the others know it. Anything not normal will cause the flock to react. Don't wait until your hen gets injured seriously. Take her out of the flock right now.

Make her comfortable in a dog crate with straw or shavings so she can continue to lay. I would take some close-up photos of the red lesion on her head and post on the emergencies and injuries forum. There are experienced chicken people there who may know what the thing on her head is and what to do about it.
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,557
6,889
516
middle TN
Either that or the rooster is becoming aggressive and doesn't like the one hen. Was he a chick last July? If so, he's really a cockerel and his behavior can change dramatically.

The bald spot on the back of her head is a classic rooster aggression sign. They've been known to pull head feathers and, if he gets a grab of skin, he may scalp her.

In short, I'd remove him and see what happens.
 
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