Is my rooster the cause of my hens dying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gonda, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Gonda

    Gonda Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    I have a Wyandotte rooster with 12 hens. There were 15 hens but three have died in the last few months, and now it seems another one is dying. I'm starting to wonder if it's due to over mating. The ones that have died were all Orpingtons, and so is the one that's now dying. They were only about two years old, and died one died quite unexpectedly and quickly, the others just went down all of a sudden and then were gone in a few days. The reason I'm wondering if it might be related to over mating is because the rooster seems to have a preference for the Orpingtons. They're the only ones I ever see him mating with, and they were the ones with some loss of feathers on their backs, one quite bad. If he's selectively mating only with the Orpingtons (of which there were 6, and now there will be only 2 left), are they possibly getting injured internally? I don't see evidence of external injury. Just trying to find out if there might be a connection. He has enough hens, but seems to prefer the Orpingtons, and I'm losing them for some reason. Any thoughts?

  2. You can rest easy about the reproductive health of your hens. Regardless of their common name, adult male chickens do not possess any external sexual organs. I must leave it to a higher power to decide whether the rooster or the hen has been cheated by this evolutionary roll of the dice but both sexes seem happy with their lot in life and appear to have worked out a way to get around this biological limitation.

    Maybe a review of husbandry practices could provide you with an answer.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  3. Elaine Elder

    Elaine Elder In the Brooder

    Oct 18, 2013
    Kingston, Georgia
    Treat for Coccidiosis.

    If that doesn't work, treat withTylan powder in water. 1 half teaspoon per gallon water. Mix fresh each day for five days.

    With both treatments, give probiotics daily during and for 5 consecutive days after treatment

    If these treatments do not stop the deaths Have them tested for Poultry Microplasma G.
    It is spread by wild birds. There is no cure.
    If infected, Cull, wait at least 30 days to use coop again. A good disinfectant spray with bleach on all Surfaces Insures it is eradicated.

    Do not bring new chickens into flock if it is M.G. Birds that survive are Carriers for Life.
  4. Gonda

    Gonda Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Thanks for the advice. I prefer not to jump to antibiotics or other drugs too quickly as that contributes to the very real problem of antibiotic resistance. I would encourage poultry owners and other animal owners to be more cautious about resorting to antibiotics at the earliest signs of trouble. My other breeds are healthy so I don't believe there is justification for using those measures at this stage. I'll keep an eye on further developments. Thanks again.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  5. Gonda

    Gonda Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Thanks for this enlightening bit of information!

  6. Have you wormed your flock? What did you use if you did?

    An over load of worms can cause all kinds of secondary illness that can lead to a "sudden" death.

    If you can give us any more symptoms that you have observed, we can try to get to the bottom of this problem.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  7. Frankie Ruiz

    Frankie Ruiz Chirping

    Oct 19, 2013
    Long Island, New York
  8. song of joy

    song of joy Crowing

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    Have any of the hens suffered from spur injuries from the rooster from being mounted for mating? If so, this could be a source of deep wounds, infection and potentially death.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  9. rtcritters

    rtcritters In the Brooder

    May 10, 2014
    Try taking a sample of their droppings to vet and have it analyzed. That is the best way to know if their is some thing going on. If you are worried the rooster may be hurting them sepetate him or the last two hens from him for awhile and see how it goes.

  10. Just remember it is completely possible to get a false negative result on a fecal sample......

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