Hens attacking rooster?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SleepyHollowFnF, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. SleepyHollowFnF

    SleepyHollowFnF Out Of The Brooder

    We have 4 hens in this coop and recently introduced 4 more hens along with a rooster that came with them. The hens were very aggressive toward each other for about a week then things calmed down. However they quickly ALL became very aggressive toward the rooster. Am I to believe that my chickens were simply rejecting the patriarchal system they were expected to conform to or is there something a lot more likely going on here?

    He's lost all his tail feathers and in the day since we had seen him last, the hens had started taking chunks of meat from his tail. We have since for his own safety taken him out of that coop and he now lives with the silkies in the auxiliary coop in that run. They love him and he seems to be very affectionate toward them as well.

    So for now, we seem to have the problem resolved, but the cause remains a mystery to us.

    Any ideas why the hens seem to have staged a revolt?

    Thanks a lot folks!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    How old are the chickens, male and female? How much physical room do they have? Is he molting?
     
  3. SleepyHollowFnF

    SleepyHollowFnF Out Of The Brooder

    Theyre all around a year old. 8 (now 7) hens, and the one rooster. The first 4 hens lived without a rooster for many months before the second 4 hens, who were used to the rooster were introduced with him.

    They have 20x20 approx and supervised free range. their coop has 3 habitable floors.

    He isnt molting but a few of the girls are. I can see them tearing tail feathers out sometimes.

    Any thoughts?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You messed up both my theories. If the male had been a few months younger with mature hens I’d have said it’s just mature hens picking on a cockerel. Nope, not the case.

    If he were molting I’d say the shafts of the new feathers are filled with blood and one got nicked somehow. They will peck at blood. Doesn’t sound like it. Wrong again. :confused:

    I’m not sure what’s going on or why. A few years back I had a hen that started pecking the rooster’s throat. She picked off a patch of feathers then started drawing blood. I have no idea why she did that. The rooster just stood there and let her. I locked him up in isolation for about three days for the wound to start to heal. After I let him back out all was fine.

    If it is just one hen doing it I’d say lock her up for a few days or lock him up for a few days. If it is several hens pecking him, lock him up for several days until it heals. Then let him out and see what happens.

    You can get something called Blu-kote to put on the wound. It helps it heal but it also tastes so bad it often keeps the other chickens from pecking the wound. You might try both. Isolate him a few days then coat it with blu-kote when you let him out.
     
  5. SleepyHollowFnF

    SleepyHollowFnF Out Of The Brooder

    Yeah its a lot more than just a little pecking at a wound. They have bloody beaks and when I say chunks of meat I mean they're eating parts of him. I'm worried they'll kill him at this rate.

    The silkies love him and I'm tempted to just let him live out his days with them and get another rooster for my big hens and hope they don't decide to take a bite out of him too!

    What a freaky thing to happen huh?
     

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