Mean rooster or sick hen?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MaliMom22, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. MaliMom22

    MaliMom22 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2014
    Hello everyone. I am new to this site and have some questions. I have about 15 hens, 2 turkeys and one rooster in about an acre fenced in pasture. The hens are a little over a year old. We started off with a rooster that was raised with our hens, but he was aggressive to the grand kids and to the children on the property. We run a preschool in the back building of our property and the children love to go and take care of the goats and the chickens. We were not able to because of the rooster attacking everybody who went into the pasture.

    We were able to find another more mature rooster. He is about 4 years old. He is the kindest, most friendliest thing ever! I can bring up to 14 kids inside the coop with me and all he does is follow us around begging for treats. If I go in myself he follows me constantly and he even response to his name. He is just over all a good rooster.

    The problem I am having is with this one hen. He constantly is chasing our one hen. He chases her away from the leftovers we give them. Its not a mating chase either. He will chase her until she gets far enough to the other side of the pen. She usually hangs out by her self anyways. The few times he does catch her he jumps on her back and pulls a few feathers out. He is not mating her. I know the difference! I have seen the other hens do this as well but not to the extent of the roo. The hens just seem to peck her out of the way or steal food from her.

    This morning as I went out to refill water and check for eggs with a couple of my toddlers, and the hen was in the back of the pasture dead. It didn't look like an animal attack. She was just laying there with poop on her hind in like she was scared pretty badly. My question is do you think the rooster could have killed her? He is a fairly new rooster to us. We have had him about three months or do you think maybe then hen was sick and that's why he drove her away the way he did? He isn't aggressive to the other hens. He definitely has his favorites and have a few who he has to keep in line every now and then. Usually that just consist of a little bit of chasing and the hens are fine. Any feed back would be very much appreciated. We absolutely adore this rooster and it would be a shame if we had to rehome him. I have literally never met such a nice rooster. He is fabulous but I don't want him killing hens!
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I would give him the benefit of the doubt, as he's being wonderful in every way. She may have been ill, and unless you have a PM done, you'll never know the cause of her death. Mary
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I agree with Mary. However, if he chooses an other hen to start bullying in the same way, I'd give him the boot.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    x2! Mary
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Agree with the above. It's his job to keep a healthy flock, and if a bird just isn't right, to drive her out. I really doubt he killed her. But, sounds like there was plenty of time to observe his behavior and if he goes after another hen you'll have plenty of warning to pull him out.
     
  6. MaliMom22

    MaliMom22 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2014
    Thanks everybody. So far no other hens are being bullied and they al look bright eyed and happy!
     

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