Hens beating up my rooster

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Amy Owens, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. Amy Owens

    Amy Owens New Egg

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    Apr 27, 2009
    I have 15 hens most of them we raised since they were a day old. We have one rooster who has been kept seperate from the hens for a few months due to bloody feet. Yesterday he was all healed up so we let him out with the hens he breed a few so we thought he was going to be ok well a little while went by and we decided to go check on everyone and the rooster was hiding in one of our nesting boxes so my husband put him back in the little coop that seperates him from the hens. Does anyone know if we can do anything to stop the hens from doing this to him? Its very frustrating to us and we are new to having chickens. Please help.
    Amy
     
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Is your roo younger than the hens? Is he from the same clutch?

    Do you have a way to pen him so they can all see each other, but not actually get to each other? A partition, perhaps? Or an adjacent pen?

    If you have a way to keep them within visual distance for a week or two, this can help. When you finally put them together, they must have enough room for the victims to be able to retreat/hide. We have "objects" in our main pen, like home made stools, perches, etc. to give birds a chance to stay away from unwelcome parties. [​IMG]

    One way I got some hens grouped together was to allow them free range time together for a couple of weeks before penning them together. If you have the space, this could help too.

    Good luck with your poor roo. Let us know how it goes!
     
  3. Amy Owens

    Amy Owens New Egg

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    Apr 27, 2009
    Our roo is older than the hens. He is being kept in our brooder coop which is inside our big coop and has been there for a couple of months. There are perchs out in the what we call the feeding and playing part. They can see each other all the time. We are in the process of fencing in part of our yard so they can free range and hoping that will help. When he was out yesterday he was very aggressive and breed most of them so we thought he would be ok. And for some reason they just go after his feet. Thanks for the advice we will try it and keep you informed.
     
  4. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    You could also try some Hot Pick or similar product on his legs/feet to discourage pecking. He may have to get a bit aggressive to reestablish his order. As long as there is no blood/extreme violence, I would let things play out. It will take a couple of days for things to settle down, but if everyone has ample room you should be OK.

    You can get Hot Pick at your local co-op or online.

    http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/product/hot_pick.html

    I would not try pine tar or other really sticky things on the legs, but Hot Pick should work. Let us know how it goes!
     
  5. Amy Owens

    Amy Owens New Egg

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    Apr 27, 2009
    He is a little bloody but not bad. We will let him heal up and then try the Hot Pick. We really appreciate the suggestion. I will keep you informed.
     
  6. Amy Owens

    Amy Owens New Egg

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    Apr 27, 2009
    Has anyone tried the medicine avia charge to stop chickens from pecking? I am looking to either buy the hot pick but the avia charge 2000 from Mcmurray hatchery not sure about either one. I need to get my rooster back with the hens so that my new chicks can go into my brooder coop.
     
  7. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Avia Charge 2000 is a vitamin supplement (also contains a couple of probiotics). Theoretically it could help alleviate picking if the picking is from a nutritional defiency.

    The Hot Pick, however, tastes unpleasant to the chickens, so they hopefully leave the victim alone.

    Blu Kote can sometimes help too - - by covering bloody patches, helping cuts dry out and heal, and tasting nasty. I keep that on hand at all times. Hot Pick just ups the ante a bit with its bitter taste, so it may be better for aggressive chickens.


    Now, unless the picking is just a personality conflict/battle of roo vs. hens, you may also have some boredom issues too (if they are penned). I might try leaving some goodies in the pen to munch on so they stay active and occupied. This does WONDERS for them. Here are a couple of possibilities:

    * cabbages, red or green (even suspended from the ceiling on a rope)
    * squash halves (summer or winter)
    * melons or melon rinds
    * corn cobs
    * broccoli spears (occasional treat only)
    * pumpkins, in season

    Penned chickens still need a job, and having things to pick through is something they all love. Choosing items that they can't gobble right up is a good way to keep them busy.

    Hope that helps. Good luck!
     
  8. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    BTW, is your roo the same breed? Does he have feathered feet?

    And have you checked his legs for scaly leg mites or anything else like that? Leg mites will cause the scales on their legs to "ruffle" and eventually peel off, and this could possibly interest bored hens. ??

    A bit of a stretch, maybe, but worth checking. Please keep us posted on how he does!
     
  9. Amy Owens

    Amy Owens New Egg

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    Apr 27, 2009
    No our roo as far as we know is not the same breed, we got him before we bought our hens at 1 day old and he is the only roo they have known. I did order the hot pick and blu kote for him. We haven't checked for leg mites but we do check his legs and feet everyday to make sure he is healing ok and I dont see anything on his legs or feet, he also doesnt have hair on his feet. I will also try some of the suggestions to keep the hens busy during the day due to being penned in for another couple of weeks until we get their run done. I will definately keep you posted. Thanks for all of your suggestions.
     
  10. Chicken Dave

    Chicken Dave Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2008
    Tyngsborough, MA
    if the rooster is younger than the hens then they might beat him up a little until he fights back
     

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