My Rooster is a Bully

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by happychicken1, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. happychicken1

    happychicken1 Hatching

    Feb 8, 2014
    So here's the story...

    I had 6 hens given to me by my sister-in-law. We live out in the country and the chickens are free range during the day, I lock them up every night. While gone one Saturday they were attacked by ??? and two were killed. One died the next day from I think the stress of the attack. In the spring we bought 6 assorted chicks from a farm store, all were supposed to be pullets. Turns out, one was a rooster, we named him Jerry. So now there are 8 hens and 1 rooster.

    Jerry has been doing his job protecting his girls since the summer, not problems. We initially didn't want a rooster, however with so many predators out here (I've personally seen two hawk attacks, and many fox/coyote/skunk/raccoons on the property), we like having him around.

    Just recently one of the hens has isolated herself. She doesn't hang around the others at all. My husband heard coyotes in the area the other night and decided to round everyone up early and lock them in the coop. Once he put the loner hen in Jerry attacked her, pecking her head. The hen is so scared to be anywhere near him, and some nights won't even put herself in the coop. We find her curled up in a corner somewhere.

    I isolated Jerry one day, and that too was so sad. He was so stressed out I thought he would die. We made a very tough decision to give the sweet loner chicken to a friend (she has only 3 hens currently), and we were going to take her this evening. However, now there are TWO hens hanging out away from everyone else.

    My question is, I simply don't know what the right thing to do is.
    Do we take the original loner chicken to my friend and hope the second one will integrate?
    Do we keep everyone and try isolation with Jerry again?
    Do we give away the original loner chicken, then if the second one becomes totally isolated give her away too?
    Get rid of Jerry and have no rooster to protect the girls?
    Will he keep picking on one hen no matter who we keep?

    I have only had chickens for about a year and I am still fairly new to this so all advice will be appreciated. I just want to do what's best for all my chickens.

  2. niamhblond

    niamhblond In the Brooder

    Jan 4, 2014
    South Wales
    Maybe Jerry is picking on the loner chicken because she's ill because that's what they usually do and you can't sell the loner chicken if she's ill so just isolate her for a while . Check where he's pecking her . It could just be him trying to assert his dominance though . Good Luck
  3. niamhblond

    niamhblond In the Brooder

    Jan 4, 2014
    South Wales
    Do not get rid of Jerry because it's better loosing one he big they don't get along than losing a whole flock to a predator . Or you could replace Jerry if you're not too attached .
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    This really doesn't sound like a rooster issue, he's doing his job from what I can tell.

    If a hen isolates herself, doesn't interact with the flock, she's likely ill. Birds don't accept an ill/injured member to the flock as they're a danger. Roosters or head hens will attack the disabled bird and drive them away. Since you've another hen acting oddly, I would thoroughly examine all the flock for any issues. You may want to pull him away from the hens for a short time, until you have a better idea what's going on and have treated any illness.

    The only other reason I've had a hen not be part of the flock is when she's wanting to go broody. Doesn't sound like the case here.

    I would absolutely NOT give the hen away until you know what's going on. You don't want to spread potential disease anywhere, and with that small a flock your friend probably does not have proper quarantine facilities.

  5. pound4pound

    pound4pound In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2014
    watching, wild and free!
    i agree with donrae, but on my experience sick hens are not battered by roosters, sick hen are left to fend off by themselves. sick birds must be isolated for treatment and that must be a red flag for your flock.
  6. I agree on the hens probably being ill. Examine the to see if they weigh less than the other hens. Have you wormed them? If so, with what? Also check for lice/mites.

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