Is it normal behaviour for a Roo to peck a Hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by EJPedrazzi, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. EJPedrazzi

    EJPedrazzi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2012
    Salinas, CA
    I've had my flock of 6 hens for about 18 months now, but recently got another 14 or so younger birds (now 5 months old). In the new selection we've had a couple of roos - 2 we got rid of as they were aggressive. We now are left with one white sultan roo who's gentle as a puppy (literally, wants to be a house / lap chicken) and generally keeps away from the flock to himself. Our other Roo is a gorgeous Appenzeller Spitzhauben who's not aggressive and gets on well with the flock. We decided to keep him because I'd like to breed him to some of my good laying hens to raise myself and to see what I get!

    Now, one of my best laying hens got her butt pecked by one of the mean roos we got rid of about 6 weeks ago, and it seemed to be fine once we got rid of him, ie. not getting any worse, but tonight I just noticed she's been pecked quite roughly and it was bleeding where a couple of her feathers got pulled out. I brought her in, cleaned it with warm water and put triple antibiotic ointment on it. I'm keeping her separate tonight, then tomorrow I'll take her over to my in-laws ranch and keep her separate while she heals.

    My question is, is it normal behaviour for a hen to get pecked this way by a Roo? I know this could also be the other hens pecking her, but I want to know if it's typical a Roo will peck a hen like this or not - if it's just an aggression thing, or because she's 'not giving in' to him, or even if it's because he's young and needs a minute (or few months!) to calm down. My husband, who's 'anti-roo's' thinks it's normal and all roos are mean, and he needs to be gotten rid of, so I'm just wondering if it's generally normal or not?

    Also, when I bring her back over once she's all healed, is it likely to happen again?

    Advice greatly appreciated, thanks!

    Emily
     
  2. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    It sounds like he is trying to get her to submit to his rule. Mine would peck them pretty hard when I introduced him. But the blood drawing is concerning. I would keep an eye on him.
     

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