Hen attacking Rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by majortaylor, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. majortaylor

    majortaylor Out Of The Brooder

    57
    4
    41
    Aug 23, 2015
    Texas
    I have a lovely Serama pair that have grown up together. They are about 6 months old and the hen just started laying.
    About 2 months ago, the hen went crazy in the night and ripped out almost all of the poor rooster's tail feathers ( he was left with 3). When I ran out to see what had happened, the hen was as distressed as the rooster and I split them up for the rest of the night and thought the attack was because the ceramic heater had fallen over and scared the hen.
    They made up and that was that, no other incidents or attacks or any aggression what so ever.
    Then tonight she did it again (all his beautiful tail feathers had just come back in!!). I can't see any reason for it and it just came out of the blue again. He's a very gentle and attentive rooster, and she's not aggressive at any time except these incidents. They free range in the garden during the day and get quite a high protein food.
    Anybody able to shed some light on what might be happening and how to prevent it in the future? Thanks!
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    28,640
    14,685
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I assume that they have sufficient roosting space? You try and put a divider on the roost - thats what i do when i introduce new flock members in order to reduce squabbles on a nighttime. It appears to me that your little roo has yet to establish himself as a roo and is regarded by your girl as a sub-ordinate, but even then, such behaviour on a nighttime seems strange to me. I hope others can shed more light on the issue for you.

    All the best
    CT
     
  3. majortaylor

    majortaylor Out Of The Brooder

    57
    4
    41
    Aug 23, 2015
    Texas
    I he's fully matured and takes his rooster duties very seriously, and they are very devoted to eachother, follow eachother around and are never very far.
    The fact that both times it's happened at 1am I find really odd!
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    28,640
    14,685
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    It is indeed very strange and i wish i could offer some constructive advice. Maybe she's an insomniac? [​IMG]

    Cheers
    CT
     
  5. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

    8,590
    951
    361
    Jul 28, 2008
    MA
    What kind of coop do you keep them in at night? Chickens cannot see in the dark so I'm thinking something else got the tail feathers, knocked over the heater and was upsetting your hen.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. majortaylor

    majortaylor Out Of The Brooder

    57
    4
    41
    Aug 23, 2015
    Texas
    They have a coop that is then enclosed in a chain link dog run with fine mesh over the top of it and along the sides. They get put up in the dog run at 5pm and then I check again before I go to bed to make sure everyone is tucked up in bed. The seramas have a separate coop from the big ladies so they don't get picked on in the night... didn't think a little hen would be the problem!
    We had a problem with possums awhile ago, but that was when one of my big hens was sleeping out in the trees, they never went for the coop or dog run. No raccoons in the area and our large cat patrols for other cats in his garden.
    It's such a mystery!
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,826
    4,016
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    There is no place in the U.S. that is completely raccoon free. Just because you don't see them, doesn't mean they aren't there. If you can get a few fingers through a space, a raccoon can get a whole arm in.
     
  8. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

    8,590
    951
    361
    Jul 28, 2008
    MA
    It isn't the hen, it is a predator. Somewhere there is enough space for something to reach in and try to grab him. That's why they were both distressed and the heater was knocked over the first time.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. majortaylor

    majortaylor Out Of The Brooder

    57
    4
    41
    Aug 23, 2015
    Texas
    The coop is inside the the 4 walled chain link box and is away from the walls so nothing could put a little paw through and touch the coop. We buried the base of the fence so there isn't a way under and the netting all around is bird netting so a creature couldn't put a paw through that. I've seen my hens walk across the top of the dog pen on top of the netting so it's tight and doesn't have any holes.
    I really don't think it's a predator, I honestly think it's the hen but I know that goes against chicken behavior.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,531
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I agree it's got to be some type of predator. Put a game cam out there and see what happens at night.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by