Chickens taking care of injured Roo? Is this common?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by grnidone, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. grnidone

    grnidone Chirping

    Jul 9, 2016
    Russell, Kansas
    So, dog attack, and he chewed on my "head Roo." We got there in time and chicken has minor injuries which I gooped up with neosporin. He's sore today, but seems to be doing well and WANTS to live.

    After I put the ointment on him, he ran into one of the nesting boxes in the coop. Concerned the other chickens would pick on him now that he is injured, I took some paper and covered the front of the nesting box with paper such that he could still get out if he wanted, but keep him out of sight if he needed to rest.

    My other two chickens (3 total -- I think they are all Roos) usually sleep on their little roost, but last night slept on the floor of the coop next to the nesting box where the Roo was. And today, even though the sun was up, they stayed next to the Roo instead of getting up.

    When my Roo finally got up and limped outside, they stayed next to him but didn't peck him. When he lay down, they laid down next to him.

    Is this common? I thought chickens pecked on injured mates?
  2. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Songster

    Mar 19, 2016
    34.560847, -81.154203
    My Coop
    They will pick on an ill or diseased bird, to keep it away from possibly infecting the rest of the flock I think. But I have had injured chickens before and no, the other birds did not bother them. 'Ol Red got mussed up by my old rooster and she's not only doing fine but is top of the hen's pecking order! Not that anyone else is contesting it, not even the 4 month old cockerel. I've never heard of charity like this though. He must be really good to his ladies.
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    It's more likely that they are traumatised by the dog attack, even if they were not victim to it directly and are seeking the comfort of all being close together, particularly if he is the alpha male and they are young. You may find that after a day or two of calm, one of them will fancy his chances at usurping the injured roo's position as top cock.... it depends on their age.... but they sound young, since you are not yet certain of their gender, so it's probably more a question of them seeking comfort and security from him, as they would a mother hen.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How old are these birds that you don't know their genders yet?
    Agrees they are staying together for a feeling of 'safety'.
  5. grnidone

    grnidone Chirping

    Jul 9, 2016
    Russell, Kansas
    I'm not actually sure how old they are, but just this morning, the three of them decided to have a crowing contest. Head Roo crowed, then the two others crowed in they were singing. Then Head Roo crowed and the other two sang back in unison.

    It was actually really neat!

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