Hens killed the rooster??? Need answers.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ABurt, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. ABurt

    ABurt Hatching

    Jul 4, 2009
    It's too late for my poor RIR roo... or else I would have posted this in emergencies. Now I just need some answers. I think my 5 hens broke the neck of my rooster. Here's what happened:

    The flock is all 5 months old and in the past several weeks the rooster has been getting increasingly frisky with the hens- grabbing them on the back of the neck, chasing them, etc. I chalked it up to him wanting the mate with them and decided this was normal and they would all work things out and finally let him do what he wanted to do. Whenever this happened the hens always let out a squeal.

    This morning I let them out of the coop to free-range since we'll be home. I heard a noise and saw the rooster chasing one hen who ran to the back of the house with the rest of the hens in pursuit (looking back, this was unusual- usually is the roo want after one of them the rest didn't care and if the hen ran away he didn't put much effort into chasing them). I heard more squealing from the back of the house, but ignored it. I continued to go walk the dog and when I got back 3-5 minutes later there were 2 hens in front of the house. I went around back to see where the rest of them were and that is when I saw the Roo (we called him Lil' Jerry) lying on the ground, not breathing.

    I frantically roused my husband, who inspected Lil' Jerry and found no wounds. We can only guess that the hens broke his neck.

    Has anyone ever heard of this happening? Was the rooster's behavior normal or was he being too aggressive? Should I be concerned about the hens turning on each other at some point?

    Thanks everyone and RIP Lil' Jerry.
  2. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    so sorry!

    I have never heard of hens attacking a roo.

    Hopefully someone will have some insight.
  3. Hummm, interesting, but a monarch hen MAY havd fought the roo. I have never heard of this, but it is possible ?
  4. ABurt

    ABurt Hatching

    Jul 4, 2009
    Not sure if this is useful info- but the Rooster was a Rhode Island Red, and the hens were: 1 RIR, 2 Barred Rock and 2 Silver-laced Wyandottes.
  5. PatS

    PatS Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    I am sorry for your loss.

    I can't imagine the hens plotting the rooster's demise and then carrying it out. The feminist in me kinda likes the idea, though. I was shocked at my rooster's behavior when he matured. If my girls had done something like this I would have called it justifiable roostercide. Now that THEY have matured, the whole thing is much easier. But when he was ready and they weren't...not a pleasant thing for any of us.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  6. mediazeal

    mediazeal Songster

    Feb 26, 2009
    It sounds like there was a ruckus, but I would suspect pecking to be the means of killing by a group of hens not neck breaking. It doesn't sound like they actually killed him.
    Sounds to me like the roo flew into the side of the house and broke his own neck.
    Sorry for your loss.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  7. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    I would bet he either ran or flew into something or a predator like a hawk or dog ran in in those 2 to 3 minuets and he tried to defend the hens and got his neck broken. Anyway I am sorry for you loss I love my roosters they are so fun and bring a lot of entertainment to the flock.


    ISSOLA Songster

    May 6, 2008
    North Shore, MA
    Quote:Your theory is the most credible explanation...
  9. chseeads

    chseeads Songster

    May 28, 2009
    Bloomington, Indiana
    As far as the rooster's behavior though, yes, that's pretty typical as they're coming to maturity. My silkie roo right now, who's about a month older than the majority of the rest of the flock, tries to put the moves on the hens and they don't much care for his antics.
  10. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    My mean old flock leader hen could and would do that. She actually gets the others to go on attack runs with her as well.
    They're quite the band of feminists on the war path when they don't like a new rooster. I got a new Barred Rock roo a few months ago, he was twice as big as these girls . . . I had to rehome him to keep them from killing him! they totally shredded his comb and wattles! and yet they are very tolerant of roos they approve of lol!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by