It happened again and i dont know what to do or whats going on.


11 Years
Feb 27, 2008
See post here

i went out to gather eggs and feed and found another hen that had been pecked the same way but already dead. This time it was one of my two Black copper hens.
I dont know what to do. Everything is as it should be, plenty of food, water etc. Plenty of room not to cramped. I dont know what to do except kill off the roosters as i am sure one or both of them is starting the problem. I know one for sure is very domineering over the hens. Whenever i feed he will take after one or more of them and jump on them and pin them down biting their comb etc. The other one doesnt seem to ever do that.

Lucky Ducky

11 Years
May 28, 2008
Truth or Consequences,NM
Before killing them off, maybe try seperating the aggressive one out or both. If you're wanting to breed it would be a shame to kill off both when only one is the problem. It might would be worth a try.


11 Years
May 8, 2008
In my opinion the agressive bird needs to go. It has already cost you 2 others and a ton of stress. Do you really want to breed that agressive an animal? If this keeps up you'll only have it for a flock.


12 Years
Jan 27, 2007
One roo is sufficient for that many hens. I'd use a heavy grit emery board to flatten the tips of the remaining roo's claws and round off the spur tips as well.

I'd guess over enthusiastic mating resulted in bloody wound(s) and this was too tempting a target to ignore. Our roo (as a rambunctious cockerel) opened up the flank of a GSL pullet that required stitches. The other nine girls also had feathers pulled from their backs. We started filing away the sharp points of claws and spurs and there were no more injuries and only a few ripped out feathers (no more bald spots).

Keep an eye on the rest of the flock for a while. It seems the cannibalism was merely opportunistic and not habitual, but I'd be suspicious.


12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
I'm sorry, but if my hen was that wounded from overmounting/over breeding I would remove all roos from the pen. There should be no more than 1 roo with 13 hens and maybe none at all if he's only picking on one and overbreeding her. Or, you can put the picked on hen in a pen by herself. Even if you technically have enough space, some animals just don't get along for whatever reason and should be adjusted for.
That is just cruel (from the roos)! Don't let things go on that long -- If you notice missing feathers from the back, that is enough to tell you there is a problem. By the time most of the comb is pulled out, or back injuries are occuring, the roo abuse has been going on for a while and the hen is majorly stressed out. A roo can overbreed a hen in an enclosed pen many many times a day, and can intimidate her from getting food and water. Not trying to be harsh, and we are all learning, but I think that level of woundedness and to the point of death(!) is something that can be prevented early on by observing the birds.
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