I think my hens killed my rooster

brenda4844

Hatching
Apr 9, 2015
2
0
7
I have 46 regular size hens, 2 bantam hens and 1 bantam rooster. We did not intend to have a rooster, but of the 4 bantams I bought, 2 of them were roosters. We gave away the first one when we discovered he was a boy chicken. The other one didn't become apparent that he was a rooster until a few weeks later. I decided to keep him and see how it would work out. He was so small and cute. We have a small nursery in the large coop that we use to introduce new chicks to the flock. The small chickens can go in and out of the nursery but the big ones can't get into the nursery. It has worked great to get everybody intermingled and safe at their own pace. The three bantams hang out in the nursery a lot but in the last few months they have been out more than in and have been eating with the big chickens. They even go outside during the day and free range, which they did not do for a long time. Sometimes the big chickens will dig under the nursery and get in to eat the small chickens food supply. I open it up and let them out. They have never hurt the smaller chickens. Today when I got home and let them out there were 6 or so big chickens in the nursery, which has happened before, and the rooster is dead in there. It would not be impossible for a predator to get in there but I would think a predator would attack one of the chickens roaming around in the larger coop. The chickens were anxious to get out of the nursery and all hopped out quickly, but that is normal as they don't like being trapped in there, especially when the door is open to go out a free range in the yard. All indications were that everybody was getting along fine. I haven't seen any injuries to the rooster or observed the girls picking on him. I don't understand why they would kill him. I guess I am hoping to get some insight to help me understand what has happened. I am one of those chicken people that names/loves/pets/pampers her chickens and I really liked little "Billy Bad *** Rooster." He was so small I gave him a tough name to make him feel big.
 

izziebean

Chirping
May 2, 2015
206
11
68
If you don't see marks or any indication of an injury, then perhaps it was an illness? Any weight loss issues lately?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Did he have any wounds, usually when they kill another chicken it's to peck them to death, and it's not pleasant, it sounds as if the rooster just passed from something and it coincided with them getting together.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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He could have had a bad heart or some other internal problem. If you still have his body, you could refrigerate it in a plastic bad, and send it off to your state vet for a necropsy. I recently lost my 4 year old bantam rooster who lived with mostly standard hens, so I know how sad you are. Sorry for your loss.
 

izziebean

Chirping
May 2, 2015
206
11
68
^ I was thinking necropsy might be useful. Necropsy takes a few weeks to prepare. Regardless, start watching for signs in your existing flock for trouble breathing, walking, etc etc. Look to see if any look thinner. Any signs of a disease. So sorry for your loss. I do think that if the hens attacked there would be markings.
 

brenda4844

Hatching
Apr 9, 2015
2
0
7
I haven't inspected him carefully as I was too upset to look much. When my husband gets home I will have him look better. I didn't see any blood. It makes me feel better that it may not have been the girls. I hate to think of my girls as mean.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,543
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A fair share of my chickens pass that way, appearing normal than dead, if you saw no blood than the only way they could have done anything was if they frightened him and he fell or flew up and broke his neck, that I have seen a time or two. Sometimes chickens just die.
 

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