henpecked chicken and rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GraceyMay, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. GraceyMay

    GraceyMay Out Of The Brooder

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    We have 8 chickens (5 hens and 3 roosters). My mother bought the chickens on a whim. She was at hardware store, saw baby chicks and ... now we have chickens. This was about a year ago.

    1 of the roosters is kind of mean (He seems to be a polish crested?). He will chase the others around and give them a peck. Of the 3 roosters, one of them has recently (the last few weeks) been staying in the hen house (he seems to be a polish crested as well?). He does not come out on his own. There are times I've made him leave, then he went right back in when I walked off. He does not sleep on the roost with the other chickens and roosters either. He sleeps on the floor. This has us worried for him. We think he's been traumatized by the dominant rooster. (He does not crow either -- at one time he did, but not for long).

    We also have a chicken (just one) that has bald spot where she is pecked. It's on the back of her head and sometimes it looks rather fresh. It never seems to heal. Even her comb is messed up by the pecking. All 5 of the hens lay eggs.

    The mean rooster has even flogged me. I read on this form about being the dominant or head chicken and now the rooster leaves me alone (actually stays well away from me...even sees me and runs the other way), but he is still mean to the other chickens.

    What are your ideas/suggestions about the traumatized rooster and the balding chicken? My mom has mentioned eating the mean rooster (I find this rather sad...he's so cute). She has also thought of isolating the traumatized rooster and balding chicken. What would be best?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    How many hens do you have to the 3 roosters? If there are not enough hens, the roosters will fight over them and can cause serious issues to the hens or each other.

    The one rooster is being beat up on, that is why he is not roosting/coming out of the coop. Getting rid of the mean rooster may help with this issue. If the rooster has flogged you, it will only get worse as he gets older. It's not worth it to keep a mean rooster. There are some things you could try to reform him if you really want to, but you will have to assert yourself as the head rooster. Even then, it's no guarantee it will work. I had a mean rooster that would attack only me, and no matter what I did to try to reform him, it didn't work - and he's no longer with us.
     
  3. GraceyMay

    GraceyMay Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your reply. We have 5 hens. One of them is abused as well. Your suggestion is to get rid of the mean rooster? I am hoping to find a way to make them all get along. The mean rooster does not bother me anymore. I think I was too aggressive when I was trying to be the alpha chicken and now he seems frightened of me (I squirted him with the water hose).
     
  4. Angie8eggs

    Angie8eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I understand with wanting to keep all your roosters, the grow on us and they are ours after all! ;) Is it possible to get more hens though? You have 3 roo's, and 5 hens, you would probably have to get at least 10, possibly 12, that would help tremendously. You can get starter pullets, but that is more expensive though :/ I would just get baby chicks, keep them out there with the older chickens, but in a seperate cage, that way they will all see each other, and gets used to another, of course there will always be that pecking order when they can all be together in the same area ;)
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    3 roosters to 5 hens is not a good ratio. Your hens will get beaten up terribly by the mating. Either rehome 2 roosters, or get more hens. 1 rooster can take care of 10 hens.
     
  6. GraceyMay

    GraceyMay Out Of The Brooder

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    When I suggested to my mom about getting more chickens, she said no. On a daily basis we get about 4 eggs (sometimes 5, sometimes 3) and already that is so many that we have to give eggs away. Our henhouse is small and dad would have to build a new larger one if we got more chickens. He was not happy to build the one we currently have (he was not happy when mom brought the chicks home).

    Mom was going to isolate the abused chickens and I suggested maybe isolating the mean rooster instead. (I had read that particular suggestion on another thread a few weeks back.) But her idea of isolating is when we lock them up at night, take the ones being isolated to another little building (actually, a doghouse with a ramp that flips up to make a lockable door). During the day, all the chickens are in the same pen where the coop is. She has suggested now to lock up the dominant rooster and #2 rooster (a black sexlink). The sexlink is a very nice rooster-I've not seen him be mean at all.

    Would that be any help even?

    She had at one time talked of killing the dominant rooster for eating, but now says she will not. But the henpecked rooster does not come out of the henhouse at all and I am worried. Honestly, if something does not change, I expect to go out and find him dead one day. There is food and water in the coop, but it's not healthy to be hermited in there like he is. It now seems the most my mom will do is change sleeping quarters for the mean rooster and #2. When I suggested finding a new home...she thinks no. She is convinced anyone who would take a rooster would be doing so to eat it.

    Any more suggestions?
     
  7. GraceyMay

    GraceyMay Out Of The Brooder

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    *bump* with hopes someone has idea to help.
     
  8. RachaelS

    RachaelS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really hate to put this bluntly but.....the only way things will change is to get rid of at least one of the roosters. The other posters have said as that and that is pretty much all you can do. 3 Roos with 5 hens is not a healthy environment (I mean mentally not dirty). Yes, if you give one away, the facts are it could get eaten, but that might be better than getting beat up so bad and getting an infection and dying that way. You do have the option of keeping two roos but you need another pen and to break up the girls, 2 in one 3 in the other, but there is no way to keep them all together. I wish I had better news to give you, but there is none. I truly wish you the best of luck.
     
  9. snoozybear

    snoozybear New Egg

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    Hey there!
    We have the same problem!; 3 roo's and 8 hens - the result of 3 disasters - novice auction buying, a visit from a fox/es and 2 girls dying in the last week from worms. We are presently trying to remedy the obvious but are still fairly raw recruits as you can see, feeling really bad about lack of chook keeping skills. We have rented out our dominant rooster who didn't want to share at all, to a friend who only had hens and wanted chickens, that's one problem solved at least temporarily. Now Rooster 2 I.C. is hassling the weakest rooster and viciously picking on one hen which they are fighting over. My question is how should we split them up? We have 2 leghorn hens, 2 older Isa x's, 3 Wyandotte roo's and 4 Wyan. hens. I was hoping to breed them for colour as have 1 red laced blue, 2 silver laced and 1 gold laced black hen. The roo's are 1 of each type as well. Roo I.C. was a good bloke till the other two invaded his territory.
    I've been watching their behaviour and bondings but that alters somewhat although No. 3 Roo doesn't get much of a look in at the moment and is chased off every time he tries unless he's really quick or makes use of a different yard. Which rooster/s to keep? Should I give up on colour/breed and just go for health, bonding and good character.
    Would really appreciate some sage advice!!!
    [​IMG]

    Thanks heaps!
     
  10. mommto3kiddos

    mommto3kiddos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I may not be any help, but I forgave my little bratty rooster over and over again, until one day he about killed one of my best Hens. She was a dominent hen and I guess she fought back and lost. He ended up in the boiling pot. I couldn't myself eat him as I had raised him since birth, but our Boxer dog got some good boiled chicken and rice! Point to my story is I will never have a mean rooster again. After I got rid of ours one of my sweeter roosters stepped up and he ROCKS! He watches his girls and treats them so nicely and lets me pet him! :) GL with your little bratty Roo!!
     

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