Cockerel trying to kill my hen!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tellynpeep, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. tellynpeep

    tellynpeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    970
    20
    151
    Oct 4, 2008
    SW New Hampshire
    My 6 month cockerel has been attacking the older hen (Amelia) in the group; I hatched him, his sister and some unrelated (Icelandics) this spring. The Icelandic cockerels were bullying him and I have gotten rid of them. Well, he soon turned into a bully himself; he is fine with the younger pullets (the coop now contains only him, his sister, two Icelandic pullets, and Amelia, a 3 year old hen.) Amelia lost her 3 buddies to predators last year, and has been a loner ever since. Here is my dilemma: I REALLY wanted to keep this rooster to breed to my Welsummers to create some nice OE layers. Has anyone had a rooster that really went after a single hen like this? He is definitely not trying to breed her (she is in the middle of a molt). The coop is large ( about 8 X 12') with a 20 X 10 run. There are only the 5 birds in it (well, 4 now, since I had to move poor Amelia to another coop.)

    Oh... and I can't get rid of Amelia. I got her and her 3 sisters (now gone) from a lady who raised them as pets in her apartment till her landlord found out ("But he said I could have pets here"!) and she is the sweetest tamest girl I have ever known. When I opened the coop this AM she came running to me and jumped into my arms. I just can't send her away...)
     
  2. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    3,382
    116
    208
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    Sounds like he is trying to establish dominance over her, since she is older and was a dominant hen. Unless he is drawing blood, then it is ok. She should submit eventually.
     
  3. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    865
    28
    124
    Sep 18, 2012
    CANADA
    I would put her back in the coop and take him out for week or two :rolleyes: let her establish herself with the pullets and then hopefully his timeout will help. Young cockerels are big pains in the butt sometimes ....:rolleyes:
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I agree with taking him out for a while. Roosters this age can be such a pain in the backside! I'd definitely let her stay with the flock and give him a time out. Then watch him carefully. I do allow a window of time for young roo's to learn to behave themselves, they often settle down with age, but I keep a close eye on them. There's only so much bad behavior toward hens that I will tolerate.
     
  5. tellynpeep

    tellynpeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    970
    20
    151
    Oct 4, 2008
    SW New Hampshire
    Oh yes, he is drawing blood. Lots of it. She is definitely submissive; I found her last time with her head stuck under a board trying to hide. Her comb is all bloody, and she has bites and bruises all over her head and neck. This morning her feet and legs were bloody too. She is definitely NOT challenging him.
     
  6. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    3,382
    116
    208
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by