Henry the Rooster is terrorizing my favorite hen, Fiona!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SLilyBelle1, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. SLilyBelle1

    SLilyBelle1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 9 hens (6 Arucaunas, two who-knows-what, and one silkie) and two roosters - one smaller Rhode Island Red-looking boy & one very large Dominecker-looking boy. Yesterday, when the girls (and boys) were out foraging, I went out to count heads and noticed one missing. I looked, and originally saw her up in the coop, on the roost (and this was mid-day). The door to the coop and the pen doors were all open, so she could have come out if she'd wanted to. I left her alone, figuring she might be about to lay. Later, I peeked out to check once more, and she wasn't in the coop, but I didn't see her with the others. I looked around and found her hiding between a barrel and the fence. I reached & picked her up and set her down on the ground again. The split second I put her down, the big Dominecker roo jumped on her - right under my nose. I knocked him off, and she started to run, and he jumped on her again! I chased him away and picked her up - all the while shoo-ing him, since he was determined to get to her.

    I put her in the coop (door still open), and fussed at the rooster a while, but didn't think it was something serious.

    This morning, when I went out to check on them, I found the hen, Fiona, croched (head-first) in the corner - as if she was hiding as best as she could. I picked her up, fearing the worst. She was perfectly ok, but she was frightened. Henry (stinkin roo) came at her the second I put her down. It's as if he's terrorizing her. I put her up in the coop and poured a little food up there in case he'd scared her so much that she's not eating. (I read somewhere that can happen.)

    Should I toss him out for the day so she can get some peace - or will it just make it worse for her when he rejoins the crowd? I'd hate for his "passion" to kill my favorite hen!!

    Help!

    Susan
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I had a roo that stalked two of my hens. They were all free ranged 24/7, and there were over a dozen other hens. He literally stalked them, they hid under the porch and he just sat on it waiting for one to venture out. Then with the flapping and screaming and fighting.

    He tasted like chicken [​IMG]


    Seriously, I don't know how to re-direct a too once he's developed that fixation. If you can confine him away from her try that, but as you said he's just going to go for her once he's released.

    Roosters are a dime a dozen. Get rid of him and look for another if you want to keep two.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Do you really need two roosters. It is very unlikely that his behavior will change. She has become a 'target', and he is large enough to cause serious injury to her. If he were mine, he'd become soup in a heartbeat.
     
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Agree with all the above. A rooster contributes nothing other than his care of the hens. If he's a valuable breeding roo, cage him. If not, eat him and get another. Roosters are easy to come by, and there's no reason to keep a bad one.

    Also, two roosters for nine hens is too many and you may get over-breeding. One rooster for 10-15 hens is about right, unless you are breeding, and then it's one rooster for five to nine hens for maximum fertility.
     
  5. SLilyBelle1

    SLilyBelle1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2012
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    I didn't really intend to have two roosters.... Our original 6 girls were all I wanted, but a friend had some chicks that needed a home and I offered to take them. I crossed my fingers, hoping they'd be girls, but two were boys. One of them actually nearly died just a couple of months ago. (Not sure if anyone remembers my posts about him.... he had dry pox. It was an awful sight!! He miraculously came back from death's door after a lot of TLC and the prayers of my little girl! He hasn't been a ferocious boy, and he's small enough that he's not eating us out of house & home. Henry, on the other hand, looks like a good Thanksgiving turkey size, and eats like a horse....)

    I got two silkies from a friend who hand raised a lot of them, and we loved them instantly. There was a terrible tragedy one afternoon when they were all out in the yard: one of the silkies fell into the swimming pool and drowned. We plan to get more silkies from the same friend, and she has actually offered to take Henry to be a yard rooster. She mentioned that she's heard coyotes on her property (a nice farm with lots of various animals), and that's one reason I've been hesitant. At this point, with the way he's been after Fiona, the coyotes can have him!!

    I love my original 6 girls, and would prefer to just have them, but my little girl loves the extra four we adopted from friends. It appears that two of the hens from that batch are also going after Fiona. The weird thing is that they've always gotten along, with my original six being the "alpha" chickens. Now that the second batch are doing this, I'm seriously considering getting rid of all of them! I hate to, since we've had them for five months and they've grown on us, but I just can't tolerate them going after my hand-raised girls. My original six are such pets, and they are so lovey, and I can't stand the thought of something happening to them!! :(

    What to do????
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Very possibly the hens are following the example of the aggressive rooster. They may very well kill the hen unless you intercede. Chicken society is not kind.
     
  7. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    If you have hens that are being overly aggressive, they can often be controlled by using peepers/blinders. I have had wonderful success with peepers. You put them on the aggressive hens, and leave them on for a few weeks until the behavior cycle is broken. Then they can be removed. If the hen is still aggressive, she can wear peepers full-time.

    They are cheap, easy, non-permanent, and don't hurt the hen. Win, win, win!

    We get ours from Randall Burkey Company (site sponsor). They only have them in packs of 100, though, so you might want to try eBay for just a few. Search for pinless peepers here on BYC and you'll find a ton of threads about how to put them on, what people think of them, etc.
     

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