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Hens attacking rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by brierose3, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. brierose3

    brierose3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    We just adopted two hens and a rooster today from the rspca. The rooster has blood all over his comb and face but the staff said that was because all the other roosters at the rspca were picking on him. That's also why he was surrendered, he was being picked on.

    We thought we would get a rooster to protect the hens from foxes and maybe to have chicks later down the track. The staff moved him into the hens pen as a last resort.

    We took them home and he is petrified of the hens and won't go anywere near them. They pick at his tail feathers when they want him to move. Our roo is very gentle and seems to love being pet. They are all sleeping together now but he still seems scared.

    Why would they all be picking on him? Could he be sick or weak?

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    This is a photo I took at the animal shelter of the two isa brown hens and the rooster at the back

    [​IMG]
     
  2. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Did you clean the blood off first? Nothing like a bit of blood to bring on a peck from someone else.

    He isn't a real roostery looking rooster is he? :). Hopefully things will settle down for him.
     
  3. brierose3

    brierose3 Chillin' With My Peeps


    Yes we have cleaned the blood off him. When we first saw him we thought he was a hen too until the staff at the animal shelter said it was a roo. Do you know what breed he could be?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  4. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    No idea I'm afraid. He is knda cute though. Have you heard him crow?
     
  5. brierose3

    brierose3 Chillin' With My Peeps


    Not yet guess we will have to wait till the morning XD although he doesn't have a spur, just this extra toe that the hens don't have :/
     
  6. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    That could be a breed thing. Might help identify him. All mine are five toe breeds.

    Mind you till you hear him crow I'm still on the fence he ever will lol
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  7. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Overrun With Chickens

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    I have to agree with " apps " , looks like a hen in which case ,it could be the pecking order being sorted out. Like they say " wait for it to crow or lay an egg " then you'll know for sure.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    He doesn’t have spurs. He has not developed enough to look much like a rooster. His comb and wattles are not very much developed. He is just starting to get the pointy saddle and hackle feathers. The adult chickens are picking on him.

    He is very young. From that photo I’d guess a bit over 4 months old. He has not yet reached a level of maturity to stand up to the others. Chickens are bullies. Mature chickens outrank immature chickens. Mature chickens often pick on immature chickens.

    Mature hens often will not have anything to do with a young rooster until he has matured enough to WOW! them with his magnificence and learned to do all the things a good rooster does for his ladies; dance, find them food, watch for predators, break up fights, and just be totally in charge. He doesn’t have the self-confidence and maturity to do those things yet. Mature hen swill pick on pullets too, but they seem to really enjoy picking on young roosters while they can.

    You are also going through what is called integration. That’s where you put chickens together that are not used to each other. They have to sort out a pecking order, which can be fairly violent. They also are determining flock dominance. That’s a bit difference than pecking order. Eventually that cockerel will mature enough to take on that role, but he has to mature enough to do that. Right now those hens are letting him know he is NOT the boss.

    If they are drawing blood when they peck him, I suggest you separate them until he heals. If at all possible house him next to them where they can see each other but not get at each other. If they are not drawing blood, I’d just let them go. They will eventually work it out.

    As far as breed, he sure looks like a mutt to me. That’s a cross between two or more breeds.

    Then it could be a hen, like they said. It has that general appearance but I think I see saddle and hackle feathers. But why would the other roosters at the RSPCA be attacking it instead of mating it?

    Also, that coloring looks like I would expect on a rooster, not a hen. I still go with a cockerel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  9. brierose3

    brierose3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you. Wow he looked much older than that. Maybe cause of the blood. You might be right though cause when they went into the coop he cowered in the corner when the girls walked past. Also I took him out into the run and there is another rooster down the road that crowed and you could see "George" (that's what we are thinking of calling him) trying to crow back and his neck feathers stuck out. Thank you all cause we are very new to chickens. :)
     
  10. brierose3

    brierose3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Also one more thing, some of his poop I noticed In the nest box/sleeping area we made for him is long, pellet shaped and our rooster seems to sleep during the day when the hens are in the coop eating and wandering about doing their thing. Is that normal?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013

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