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Do hens fight?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickenmaven, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    I am considering making my coop "girls only."

    I have not been at this chicken thing too long. Less than 2 years. My flock has hovered at 20-30 chickens. We have acquired new ones & gotten rid of extra roosters. Through it all, the most trouble we have had has been with the roosters fighting. One rooster has been beaten up & put "in hospital" 3 or 4 times. I have seen blood sprayed on the walls inside the coop. (BTW, the coop is huge, for the # I keep...Crowding is not an issue). Anyway, I figured, from what I have read, that 2 roosters and 25 hens would be a good ratio. This morning there was a drop of blood on the waterer. One roo has a scab on his comb.

    Now I am thinking: NO ROOSTERS! I ask all of you if this a a solution. Will a group of hens get along better than a flock with a couple of roosters?
     
  2. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    Some of my hens are BOSSY! But they don't fight like the roos do. But, I have seen other people's posts where their top hens have attacked lower hens and have hurt them pretty badly. I think it depends on a lot of factors.... breed, personalities, space, chicks, a lot of things seem to effect a hen's behavior.

    My opinion is that you should be fine, especially if these are the hens that you have already.

    Do you keep roosters for fertile eggs? Otherwise you don't need them. Or you could keep just one roo.... but have fewer fertile eggs.
     
  3. blueskylen

    blueskylen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
    WV
    I'm not sure what is best - they keep the pecking order and can be a bit vicious if one hen starts to look bad and will peck her almost to death. I am agravated right now about it - and considering peepers for them all.
     
  4. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    I don't need fertile eggs. I had a fantasy about hatching out cute, fuzzy little chickies, but since 50% will be roos... Not so interested. I have spent WAY too much time driving roosters to meeting points to rehome. No, no roosters.

    My issue is, I don't want to rehome my favorite roo if it won't make the coop more peaceful.

    Thanks.
     
  5. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have never seen bloody fighting from my girls. But, they will pick one hen out and make her low man on the totem pole for the day. That is when I have to walk away and say its all their problem. Animals are never going to be as sofisticated as us humans (I'd rather deal with their set of rules), er sofisticated humans, now that is a loaded subject.
    Needless to say, make sure they have enough floor space, nesting space and roaming space to avoid the bullies and they will be fine.
    Good luck and as for Rooster free, I gave mine away not for fighting, if you have one guy, you wont have the fights, but your girls will look like there had been a scalping party! (tee hee)
    Also, giving the girls challenging things to eat, lettuce or cabbage in a bag, scratch tossed on the floor, a bit more protein seems to slow them down on that need to pick on another (and that could be just my girls).
    Have a good day!
     
  6. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    If you have a fav roo... keep him and get rid of the rest and just don't let the hens hatch any eggs [​IMG] Or put up a sign or ad for straight run chicks [​IMG]

    A roo will help keep an eye on your girls and alert them to dangers. And I would think that if you get rid of all roos in a flock that is used to having roos that possibly the hens will set up a newer pecking order. But don't quote me on that one.....

    I say, keep your fav guy..... if he has no other roos to fight with, he should be content to just look after his girls [​IMG]
     
  7. phalenbeck

    phalenbeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Canton, N.C.
    One of my hens insists on being the boss, and 'belly bumps' others, and mostly jumps at them and pecks on occasion, but no harm so far. The rooster gets it the worst as he is smaller and she, and several sisters will not tolorate him doing what roosters do. I got a rooster for protection of the girls--like a gaurd dog--and he has been a first warning of hawks, dogs, and mostly lawn mowers and chain saws. I intend to keep a Roo for that reason alone. Perhaps you could have one rooster only for protection. I do think my little guy is helping a bit with the dumber. and less alert hens. That is why I got him, and that is what he does. My ratio is 1 roo, 9 hens. I may hatch a few eggs as I have some demand, but not much or often.
     
  8. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    and he has been a first warning of hawks, dogs, and mostly lawn mowers and chain saws.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My two top hens have gotten into some knock down drag outs that put my rooster to shame.
    Each time they do my rooster steps in and breaks it up. I was amazed the first time I saw him do this.
    When I had two roosters they never fought as hard or as long as these two brawler babes do.
     

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