Hens attacking rooster

rebelchicken

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 25, 2009
25
0
32
Memphis
My dad has about 5 buffs that he put in the pen with a rooster. The rooster had been injured by a hawk prior to this. They did well for a couple of weeks but now they are attacking him. If dad had not gone out there last night, they may well have killed him. Could they be doing this because he's only feeding chops and not a laying formula? They're a couple of weeks from their first laying. This poor rooster has been through hell. I had to take him from the city to the farm because he crows so much and so loud. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,701
21,400
907
Southeast Louisiana
How old is the rooster and the hens? If he is too immature to establish dominance over the hens, they could very well pick on him. They may have drawn blood from this pecking and gone berserk. It is not unheard of for hens to peck the rooster anyway.

I don't know what "chops" is. The main difference in layer and grower feed is the calcium and the hens should not be pecking the rooster looking for calcium. Extra protein maybe, but not calcium.
 

rebelchicken

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 25, 2009
25
0
32
Memphis
Thanks, the rooster is about 6 months, the hens are about 3 month. "Chops" is just chopped up corn. I think it must be an "old-timers" word. Will a layer feed contain protein as well as the calcium or should they get additional of each?
 

DiVon80

Songster
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
807
4
131
Pearl River,Louisiana
They really need to be on a complete/balenced food(age appropriate)What your dad is feeding is even a by produst of something else. Probably no real nutrition. Corn alone is like feeding candy to a kid. I would get them on a good grower type feed.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,701
21,400
907
Southeast Louisiana
Quote:
At those ages, the pullets are still very immature. At six months, the rooster should be an adult and able to dominate adult hens, let alone immature pullets. You do not have the normal flock dynamics of a rooster with hens. The rooster probably doesn't even see the pullets as female, just immature chicks. I'd normally worry more about the pullets being in danger from him that the current situation. My guess is that the hawk attack demoralized him so much that he is the weakest in spirit in the flock and the others recognize that and are trying to keep him down in the pecking order. I don't know if he will ever recover. However, once the pullets mature enough that he recognizes them as hens needing mating, he may recover and take charge. I really don't know. Until then, he needs to be protected from the pullets.

I'll include a link to a site that talks about feeding chickens. I agree with Divon80 but you might trust this site more than us. I would not feed layer until the pullets are 20 weeks old or start laying, whichever happens first.

Oregon State Feeding Chickens
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/pnw/pnw477/#anchor1132074
 

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