crazy CANNIBAL chickens ate most of my rooster's butt!

11 Years
Dec 4, 2008
Carson City, NV

My hands are still shaking so hard I can't type...I'm out giving them their nooner treats and I see blood dripping from the big roo's butt.
Then I notice that two or three of the BSL's are chasing him and pecking at it...ewwwwww.

Finally chased him down...he's lost a lot of weight since the last time I handled him two weeks ago. And his...butt...ah...'opening' is just a bloody mass.

About a 2 inch by 2 inch area of raw meat, oozing and dripping.

Dang. I freaked out and grabbed the blood stop powder and doused him, but in a bit I'm going to try and clean him up more.

Went into the other run: that rooster (an EE who's always been a jerk to the girls) has no beard, two tailfeathers, and he's bleeding too.

The 14 EE's and 5 BSLs are in a 30x35 run with an attached 17x10 coop. The 20 Astrolorp & BSL's are in a 12x24 run with an attached 10x6 coop. Both are netted heavily so they have free run of inside/outside. Food and water are in many seperate areas.

The ONLY thing that's changed in the last week is I'm switching everyone over to pellets, and it's been raining. But both have outside areas they can be in out of the rain...minimum 10x6.

Thoughts? I'm thinking a little Kevlar suit for them? Or maybe duct tape a metal colander to their backsides? (uh, maybe vetwrap instead of duct tape

Poor roos...
This is tough (very bad habit).

It is quite possible that crowding? because of the rain, and changing feed got them started.
Separate the roos (will need to heal up completely). You can make a weak betadine tea (betadine and water) in a small spray bottle and irrigate the wounds - check actual extent/cut away feathers, if any sticking in wound). You can apply blukote if you have it, or daub neosporin on.

Check all the rest of the chooks after they've gone to roost for any wounds.

Change back to crumbles for the time being (they can be very stubborn about feed changes/anything new), provide lots of extra stimulation (hang peaches/corn on the cob, etc. from fence).

Continue to observe the chooks closely (see if there aren't a few main offenders) and cull the hard core cannibals. We've had luck with the minor picking at the roo's comb in the winter, by using pine tar (some folks don't like it and it is hard to work with). The girls quit picking for blood ASAP.
I agree with the above, and would add that you should use something like Catron (an insecticide for wounds) in addition to the antibiotic wash (like betadine) and ointment. Since it's the vent that effected, it could be more prone to maggot infestation and you DON'T want to deal with that! I would clean and wash the wound daily until it is completely scabbed. You can make a betadine bath (with warm water) and soak the roosters tail-end in it for a few minutes to get it really clean. Best of luck, Lynn
I read about this once.. the pellets fill them up too fast and they still want to peck around for their food..

If it were me, along with the advice already given, I'd be sure they had something to pick at like some alfalfa, greens, etc.. even corn cobs would keep them busy for a while to satisfy their pecking urge.

Good luck!
Thanks for the Betadine soak advice...he hated it and my friend thought me dunking his bird butt in warm medicated water while he screamed was the funniest thing he'd ever seen...

I'm updating my resume to include:

"I can type 100wpm AND wrestle a screaming rooster for a half hour as I dunk his butt in hot water with Betadine."

That's gotta impress somebody somewhere, right? It's a skill, I'm tellin' ya!
I soaked both roos for the first 5 days...then sort of ran out of time for a few days there.

But they're both eating drinking etc.

Eww. Maggots. I don't think I could deal with that.
I tried the corn cobs, and they did spend a lot of time playing with them.

But...they're in a chicken playground. Seriously: toys, stuff to get in and climb on, outdoor perches of different heights, shade and sun and a small tree to get into and little bits of pieces of wood and some pet bird toys and six different waters and three food stations to eat at: all they're missing is HBO.

I tried to let the roo that's healed the most out with the girls to graze the 15 acres the other day. Within ten minutes each girl had run over and grabbed a big bite of his butt until blood was pouring as it is a lot harder to catch those boys when they can run a quarter mile in each direction.

They're back in roo jail again.

I have upped the protein considerably, and I do notice that combs are redder on the girls.

I'm all organic so I've been mixing a homeade scratch in addition to the organic mash and pellets I'm feeding.

It's got: oats, flax, millet, barley, wheat, triticale, quinoa and a coupla other things in it.

Dang birds eat better than most people!
Have you noticed if either of them have been particularly rough with the girls? I know you said the one was, but how about the other? I wonder if the girls have just decided enough is enough, and they won't let the roos back with them?

It sounds personal, you know? If my head pullet doesn't like someone, she lets it be known.
I had a leghorn mix roo that had decided he was old enough to breed, she cured him of that after a few days. He doesn't even free range with the other chickens now! He seems a little depressed, but he will be going off to freezer camp before too long.

Chickenzoo-thanks for the tip about the feed block! I need to get one of those. Had no idea they made them. DH put the horses mineral block out the other day and the chickens destroyed it. 15 acres to free range on, and you'd think they could find something else to do! LOL!

Lynn, I wish I'd listened to you. They didn't have that at the feed store and I asked for something "all organic" and they sold me a $26 bottle of something that said deodorant...when I said no, I need bug spray the chick went into a big spiel about how marigolds were natural bug reppellants, which I'd heard before. I sprayed him every day, and his isolation cage, and the area near it.

I did the Betadine warm water soak for 3 days but by the third day it looked all crusty/scabbed over: could tap it with a fingernail. He was eating and crowing and drinking...yesterday at 3pm I brought them all out strawberries and he hopped down off his perch and ate two. And he'd always hop down when I brought breakfast/dinner.

But I just had to cull him. When I walked in the coop it smelled like death. I picked him up and he was infested with maggots.

I'd never killed anyone before. It took me a while to get it together, find the hatchet (which was duller than crap) and a bag and gloves.

When I got back out he'd pushed a 4 foot plastic brooder over and gotten out of the coop into the run. The maggots were just falling off him, but he still was trying to wobble after the girls...pitiful.

I took him outside and he could stand...thought "maybe?" so tried to clean him up with peroxide and betadine...couldn't get them all out. Soaked him a bit and still couldn't get them all out...and it looked like his skin was...delaminating or something. Three inches up from the end of his butt looked like cooked chicken. But the maggots were coming out near where the wing enters the body?

So I'm wondering if they didn't peck him there too and I just didn't see it due to his coloration?

I feel like crap. Like it's all my fault. Like I should NOT be allowed to have chickens or dogs or anything.

I'm an idiot.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom