My rooster is picking on one of his hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by erinnyes, May 30, 2012.

  1. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chirping

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    This morning I came out to the barn to find clumps of feathers on the ground and my black star hen cowering with her comb bleeding. I had no clue what was going on, but she looked so pitiful I took her into a separate enclosure to get a good look at her injuries. Her comb had been scratched, there are several feathers broken in her saddle area, but what's more upsetting is that there's a bald spot on the back of her neck with a little scab. I believe this is where the feathers I found came from.

    Anyway, I gave her food and water and a couple of hours to sit quietly and relax. By lunchtime she seemed better (I think she's going broody? Her feathers are all fluffed up and she's clucking constantly). The moment I let her out though, my rooster jumped on her. This is normal, but what was abnormal is that she screeched like he was hurting her. Normally the hens are silent when he does his thing. I thought that would be the end of it, usually he mates with a hen and then goes on his way, but after he got off her he started chasing her again, and she RAN at full speed from him. I followed, and by the time I caught up with them he had chased her all the way back to the coop. She was flattened in the grass with the side of her head bleeding! I can't believe my docile, friendly rooster would do such a thing to his hens! He's never hurt one before. Heck, he won't even attack me, let alone his girls.

    She's separated now, and I'm not sure what to do next. Does he need to go in the pot? Is there any other way I can handle this? He's seen broodies before and never reacted this way. Oh, and he has 12 hens in his flock and is the only roo. He continues even now to be good with his other hens.
     
    norxgirl likes this.
  2. luvmyEs

    luvmyEs Songster

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    This happened to our flock last week. After three different vicious attacks on my best layer, Beautiful, I put him on CL for free. I did put the reason for getting rid of him and he was gone the next day. Beautiful is happier and so are my other hens. Debating on if I want to get another rooster or not. [​IMG]
     
    norxgirl likes this.
  3. bj taylor

    bj taylor Songster

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    before you get rid of him, i would observe her for awhile. she may have a problem & this is his way of protecting the flock or he may be mad because he senses she's going broody & she isn't as welcoming as before. i wouldn't rush to get rid of him if he's been good so far.
     
    norxgirl likes this.
  4. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chirping

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    You know, you may have a point there. The hen he picked on has been acting a little "off" recently. She's just less perky than usual, but she's eating, pooping right and everything looks good. I guess this could be the reason he zeroed in on her, but on the other hand, I had one of my hens get very, very sick last week and he never bothered her at all. So I'm not sure what to think!

    Weird, he just started up randomly? Well I'm glad you found a home for him! If it ends up that things don't work out I hope I can do the same for mine.
     
  5. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chirping

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    He's still picking on her, I let my hen out of her enclosed area to socialize with supervision and he goes after her immediately. Just wondering, I know about the hen saver saddle but he's been plucking the back of her back and comb area... is there like a hen saver "hat" for birds being picked on in this area? ;)
     

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