Hens kill rooster??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by virtangel, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. virtangel

    virtangel New Egg

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    Aug 13, 2011
    Hi all. I searched the message board and could not find anyone who had their hens kill a rooster. This sounds crazy, but I think it happened last night. I have three black Astrolorpe (?) and 1 Buff Orphington hens, plus one banty chick. The hens have been together for about a year. The rest of my flock has been eaten over the summer by predators, aside from this one chick. That is a whole different story I will share later. Anyway, yesterday we were given a rooster by a neighbor. He was a very sweet Rhode Island Red. He was at least as big as the hens, if not bigger. When I put him in their enclosure, the Buff immediately went after him. That lasted for a few minutes and then she submitted and everyone was fine. Then the black hens went after him. That went on for awhile and then everyone seemed to calm down. This was right before dark. When it was time for them to go in for the night my son ushered them into their house and he said the rooster went right in. When I woke up this morning I was surprised that I did not hear crowing. I went down to let the hens out into their enclosure and he was on the bottom of the house dead. He was face down and his neck had obviously been pecked because most of the feathers were missing, but he was not bloody.

    The hens would not go down to the bottom of the house even after I opened the door. There is a small opening in the bottom of the house where one board meets another. It is probably less than an 3/4 inch wide. When I picked the rooster up to take him out, his insides were all torn up right where the floor gap is. So here is the question- did the hens kill him first and then something else picked at him from underneath, or did something kill him and then the hens picked at him? The black hens were very aggressive with him. However, as far as I can tell, they never bothered any of the 30 chicks we had this spring. Those were all killed by a possum or raccoon, and once a dog. His neck had obviously been pecked because it looked like we had plucked the feathers from about a 2 by 2 inch area. There was no blood on his neck whatsoever.

    Anyone have any ideas? If it was the hens, dare I get any more chickens? I am afraid if it was them they will do it again. I am a bit afraid for our chick but there is no where else to put her. Thanks.
     
  2. ChickenSahib

    ChickenSahib Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I suppose the hens kicked him off the roost and something reached in and grabbed him? I mean, if the neck didn't have any blood on it I can't imagine hens picking apart a rooster at the gut unless it was sick and wasn't able to defend itself.

    Either way, the introduction should have been gradual. Have a look on the forums and there are various successful methods of introducing chickens foreign from the flock, especially after a quarantine period.
     
  3. virtangel

    virtangel New Egg

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    Aug 13, 2011
    I would have done something gradual for hens, but I thought a rooster could hold his own. And again, then hens did not attack any of the new chicks this year. They never liked them and avoided them, but never hurt them. As for something grabbing him, that is what I am thinking, but the timing would have to have been perfect. He would have had to go down to that exact spot and stand there when the predator was there. There were plenty of other spaces where he could have stayed up and off the floor. Ugh!
     
  4. equinelyn

    equinelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I could be wrong. But it sounds like he didn't want to roost with them so he stayed on the floor that night, and something grabbed him from underneath. I know when I introduce new chickens, they don't want to roost right away. That might have made them peck at him, then if the "creature" came back it might have scared them and that's why they didn't want to come down. Poor rooster [​IMG] I'm sorry you lost him.
     
  5. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    No way your hens killed him in the middle of the night. They had already accepted him and they don't move after dark.

    You have a predator still or again.

    his insides were all torn up right where the floor gap is

    There is your answer.​
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    He was killed by a predator. The predator will return and try for your hens. Repair your coop and trap the predator. Good luck.
     
  7. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

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    My hens killed an intruder rooster... It happens and they dismembered him.... They viewed him as an intruder and made quick work of him.. He was much younger than them... Hens will kill young roosters if they don't like em.
     
  8. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Not saying they can't - saying no way they did in this case.
     
  9. virtangel

    virtangel New Egg

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    Aug 13, 2011
    I took another look at the rooster and the situation. I have to go with Geebs on this. I am pretty sure they killed him and then the other creature just dragged part of him through the bottom of the house. I have filled in that gap now just to be sure. I am also installing chicken wire on the top of the run today to keep anything from coming over the top. It is 8 feet high, but that apparently is not enough to stop the raccoon. We would like to move our entire chicken house and run to a new area of the property away from the woods, but it is too heavy. We tried giving it a good shove today and it did not even wiggle. For once I am sorry for our very solid construction [​IMG] I guess we will need to start over. Time to look at more coop and run plans. I swear the chickens are more work than the entire herd of horses!
     

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