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Hen was scalped!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by SouthernTNChickens, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. SouthernTNChickens

    SouthernTNChickens Hatching

    Aug 16, 2011
    I'm new to chicken keeping although I've been around them my whole life. My grandparents always had chickens and my parents had chickens when I was a kid.....but when you're a kid, you're not cocerned with husbandry......

    I bought my own first chickens at TSC......10 pullets and 4 Australorps (straight-run) - 2 of the 4 Australorps turned out to be roosters. One rooster is dominant and does most of the crowing and most of the mating. The other rooster seems to be a little of an outcast...not that he's getting beat up but that hens run from him! I've noticed that the dominant rooster is easy on the hens and they're really submissive to him but the when they run from the other rooster, he holds on to the back of their heads and they twist out from under him.

    About a week ago, I had a hen come up with no scalp! These are not free-range chickens as I live out in the country at the bottom of the mountains and have predators all around. They are kept in a completely enclosed pen (chicken wire). I have never noticed any of them trying to get their heads through the wire. They are kept between the back side of of my house and my dog kennel, where the dogs stand alert and bark at anything that moves. I doctored on the hen for a week before she decided to die and at one point thought she might pull through. She could move her feet and legs and wings and head but decided she never wanted to walk again. I'm not sure if she was brain damaged but something happened to her. So, my question is, has anyone else had this happen and do you think the rooster is at fault or something else? I guess I need to get rid of one rooster....
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011

  2. heather112588

    heather112588 Songster

    Nov 12, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    That sounds like a chicken aggressive rooster to me. I had one bird scalped before ( i do not still have the pic but its was really bad! whole back of head gone and could see jaw muscle and bone) and though she pulled though, it was from an aggressive rooster.

    You probably dont want to hear this but take that roo out ( 1 roo to 12 hens is fine anyway and why constantly worry about him killing others).
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] Very possible that the scalping was caused by the less dominant rooster trying to mate the hen. Is there any reason that you need two roosers?
  4. vclark321

    vclark321 Chirping

    Jul 30, 2011
    Bonney Lake
    This may or may not be the cause, but possible... coons reach through chicken and can grab what body part is available and try to pull it through the wire. I have heard stories about that. Sorry for your loss.
  5. SouthernTNChickens

    SouthernTNChickens Hatching

    Aug 16, 2011
    I didn't intentionally get 2 roosters....these were straight-run TSC babies (featured breed)......got 4 of them and 2 turned out to be roosters. I have been watching this rooster for the past couple of days now....he is aggressive with the hens...he drops one wing and kind of scoots his feet....don't know if this is a dance or a challenge.....but he grabs them roughly.....I think I will separate him and either get rid of him or find him a few of his very own hens....I guess I could eat him as long as I didn't have to do the pluckin'......Are some roosters more aggressive with hens than others? These roosters are from the same clutch from TSC....they were supposed to be Australorp but they don't really look like Australorp roosters I've seen pictures of. They are very pretty....black with gold in feathers and blue/green/purple in their tail feathers and one has speckles on his breast....They look like fierce warriors dressed for battle.....

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