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Have you dealt with this before? Advise needed!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cheep N Peep, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. Cheep N Peep

    Cheep N Peep Chillin' With My Peeps

    ~ Please read the whole story~

    We picked out our chicks at a local TSC, a few days after Easter. What we thought was particularly interesting was that they hatched ON Easter. We picked out four Golden Comet Pullets, a 'popular breed' bantam, and an 'Americana' or, EE. We drove home and set up a brooder, and I fussed over my new babies for eight weeks. Soon I realized early on that Garnet was a boy, so he became my handsome Ajax. I was so exited to have a rooster! If only.
    Out of four 'pullets', three were boys, so out of our six chickens we got four roosters. Arg! For some reason, TSC got a mix up, and our golden comets were really RIRs, Not that they would admit it. And by that time, they had stopped selling chicks.[​IMG]
    "Ok,", I told myself, "-at least I get to pick the best rooster." I mulled the choice over in my head, while at the same time looking for someone who would take the others. Roo #1 was a jerk who attacked me every chance he got. We would ditch him. Roo #2 (Ajax) was a nervous wreck. No. Roo #3 was a sweetie, cared for me, cared for the hens. Other than that, he was the most boring chicken of the whole flock. Roo #4 was cautious and respectful around me, could sprint faster than lightning, was exceedingly handsomeness, and friendly with the hens.
    I kept my handsome EE roo, #4, and the rest went off to a lady who I knew was ultimately going to butcher them. In the meantime, however they would enjoy fighting, scratching, dust bathing, and rummaging around for bugs in the sun. I was happy that they would be fine.
    Fast forward to the end of week nineteen in their little Chickie lives: Thee coop is 89% done, the half -hearted attempts to find some hens their own age have failed, and we recognized our bantam as a Dark Cornish Hen, a feisty take-no-nonsense little girl. My roo has clumsily mounted the RIR hen about twice, but she's upset with him and for most of the day they are separated. We leave them in the coop for four or five hours one morning, and I come back to let them out to free range while I work on their trampoline run. Cleo hops out, looking upset and bloody. Luna is squawking at me from the roost, and Aspen- Oh, my poor little RIR hen is huddled in a corner, the top of her skull exposed, bloody feathers stuck around the edges of the large patch of missing skin on the back of her head. [​IMG]Horrified, I jump into the coop and scoop her up, already examining the wound and sprinting towards the house. Sick to my stomach, we disinfect the wound, squirt Neosporin all over it, and patch her up. Not knowing if she will die while I'm gone, I rush to Wal-Mart to buy gauze and wrappings. [​IMG]
    This happened on Saturday. Today is Sunday. She is doing wonderfully! All the water we chocked down her every half hour perked her up, and now she will drink it on her own. She holds her head up. She is fed a water/feed mash, but won't eat it by herself unless we point it out, and then she takes a grudging peck. She walks around. Puts Luna in her tiny bantam place when Luna visits. Other chicken people at the fair today assure me she will most likely make a full recovery with our treatment. [​IMG]
    But they have also assured me of this: a rooster that rapes will rape again. All this because I don't have enough hens for him! I know that he would rape all of them if he had more, but at least none of them would have their heads ripped open!


    So what do I do? If I put my EE in there with them again, he will attack my RIR and will eventually make another attempt on Luna (he only tried once but gave up after he could only put one foot on her back at a time, and she gave him a sound tongue lashing). I will get rid of him unless this can be cured, which I doubt. Are some breeds more prone to this? I want a rooster, and love having Cleo around! -but I am hesitant to get a replacement roo after he is gone, even after I raise some more hens... can I tell from an early age if a rooster will rape?
    (If you are worried about Aspen, by the way, the worst is over. Right now she is scowling at me and threatening to poop on my pants if I get anymore hens. She is such an attention hog!)


    Thank you for any and all replies. (even just sympathy ones)[​IMG]
     
  2. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

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    Hiya. Are you sure the rooster did this to the hen? I've never heard of a rooster being that mean and doing that much damage. So you have one rooster and one hen? Correct?
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    this is why I don't buy at the tractor supply anymore, that's a bit too much aggressive behaviour from that rooster towards the hens, I would not bother with him and make other arrangements, but if you want to try keeping him around I sometimes lock a overly amorous rooster up in a separate pen for a few months until he matures and calms down, though I have never had one draw blood like yours, as I said, I would probably not keep him.
     
  4. Cheep N Peep

    Cheep N Peep Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am not going to keep him. While a rooster normally dances for his hens, or tid bits, he just jumped her... and yes, I'm sure it was him. He had blood smeared all along his beak and comb, and the only other chicken in the coop with them was screaming her head off from the rafters. :) He didn't just draw blood. He scalped her. A large amount of skin is missing from the top of her head, probably eaten after he noticed it tasted good.
    All three chickens are separated, although the two hens visit to boost Aspen's morale. How common is rape in roosters? I am sure that's what he was doing until he drew blood, and pecked at that spot again and again.
    As for being mean, I don't think that the scalping was an act of meanness. He tasted her blood, which tasted good. So he pecked at it again. Plus it was bright red against the landscape of her other feathers. Chickens can cause injuries like this to each other all the time. But either way, he has to go.
     
  5. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

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    Yes, definitely get rid of him. Next time, handled a rooster at a young age. Pet his keel and neck and get him used to you. Don't let him mount your hens in front of you
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    That was more than rape, rape in chickens is when the rooster sneaks up and grabs her and she screams, he does his deed and usually runs off, maybe pulling out feathers, what yours did was an attack, way different, rape is either a young rooster thing or a not so nice rooster thing. Most hens don't like to be mated, some ask, most just take it and move on, I've had some real nice roosters who the hens adore, and he asks and says thank you, and I've had buttheads, some grow out off it others are just that way, depending on how I feel and what else is going on I decide to keep or not keep, they are always culled, not rehomed. So as to your question how common is rape, it's fairly common, but not the same as violence, it's normal in chickens.
     
  7. Cheep N Peep

    Cheep N Peep Chillin' With My Peeps

    oldhenlikesdogs -I do not think this was an attack. He does not attack anything. However, he is VERY possessive of food. If she tasted good, he would peck her again. they don't view the chicken itself as food, but the injury tastes good and is 'food'. Sometimes a squawk from the injured hen is enough to stop the pecking, but most of the time it is not. Hens will do this to each other if they notice an injury. That's the way chickens are. After he drew blood from gripping the back of her head, she sustained an injury that tasted good and would be pecked at again. If it helps, picture them as dinosaurs that have been tarred and feathered.

    silkiecuddles -I have cuddled him since we got him. If I can catch him, we still do. As much as I like him, I won't risk him hurting Aspen again, or killing Luna. But the questions I really want answered are these: Is this more common in some breeds? and Can you tell from an early age?
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I have 11 roosters mating hens all day, never do they rip open the back of the head, that requires cornering and repeatedly pecking, not done during mating in my opinion, just my 20 years of chicken keeping opinion. Enough said.
     
  9. Cheep N Peep

    Cheep N Peep Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree that it takes some persistent tugging and pulling and pecking to draw blood and start the wound. I have been reading older posts and some people have recommended separating and waiting for the rooster to mature. I don't know if a mentioned it before, but he has just started crowing.
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I have been recommending it, I do it a lot, it does work for most roosters, but it doesn't change a bad rooster, just gives the good ones a chance to calm down and mature, letting the hormonal stage pass and the hens to mature, which your rooster is, is hard to say, but I would separate him, I have a pen within my pen where they stay until I am satisfied they can control themselves better. Sometimes they are in and out for months, I can't recall culling a rooster just because he was young and stupid. But I do agree once they draw blood they will continue if they can.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015

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