Hen being attack by not only other hen but also rooster.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by donnaboydjones, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. donnaboydjones

    donnaboydjones Chillin' With My Peeps

    Im new to being a chicken owner and have had my flock since august/October.
    Up until 2 weeks ago everything was paradise. My chickens were allowed free range while I was home and in the pen when I wasn't. I've lost two hens in two weeks due to eagles, so I've not allowed my chickens to be free in the yard since. The size of the pen not including the coop is 40x16 with 1/3 of it separated for my 11 week old chicks that I bring out into the yard during the day.
    Today I caught my Americana hen going after my RIR hen. I separated them for a while and thought everything was ok and then I saw the rooster going after the RIR. Separated het from them for awhile and then put them back together after a while. Well a neighbor came over to being them some fresh vegetables and mentioned the rooster wouldn't leave my RIR along thinking they were loving one another. I found the RIR in the coop with the rooster and the americana hen on top of her. Once I got them off of her she had been pecked to the point that there was blood on all sides of her comb, around her eyes, ears and feathers ripped out on her head and neck. I've put her in separate quarters for the night even though she was distressed to be separated from the flock.
    My questions is, what caused it in the first place? Initially my RIR was the head of the hens. I have a total of four hens and the rooster. The chicks live in the garage at night and I'll put them together when they are the same size A's the adults. Also, how can I keep them from attacking the RIR again once she heals?
    Im baffled, upset and not sure what to do. Can't understand how there was such peace and harmony and now all this. I've heard of other hens attacking each other but never a rooster. Up until today he was the kindest, loving rooster anyone could ask for.
    Please help me know what caused this, how to fix it and what to do to make sure it doesn't happen again.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    40X15 feet or inches? The only thing that changed was the free ranging?
     
  3. donnaboydjones

    donnaboydjones Chillin' With My Peeps

    Lol:) It's feet. I live on ten acres and wanted to give my chickens a nice size area to live.
    I thought the RIR had dried blood near her beak, but maybe it's the pox and they were going after her for that. I don't know. At this point I feel like I'm grasping at anything trying to make sense of it all.
     
  4. donnaboydjones

    donnaboydjones Chillin' With My Peeps

    BTW- I dont know if she has the pox. I'm just grasping at ideas.
     
  5. Kitty Cat

    Kitty Cat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure about the rooster going after her but if she was mean to the other hens they may have had enough and put her in her place. I've had a few hens die because they fought over the laying boxes. Or, if your neighbor had just fed them they may have been attacking her because of the food. My hens grab food and run, trying to find a place to eat in peace since hens tend to steal food out of other hen's mouths.
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:Just wanting to make sure. [​IMG] (my runs are also huge) They have plenty of space, so it's not that. Hmmmm, hard one to figure out. Maybe they were going after her because of the pox - my rooster got some frostbite on his comb this past winter, and the hens would pick at it. Anything else change?
     

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