My rooster killed a hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sandychic, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. Sandychic

    Sandychic In the Brooder

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    I have 4 hens ( 2 Banties,an Americana, and a silken). All about 2 yrs old and a young rooster 5 months. Last night when I locked up the coop I noticed that one of my Little Banties was missing. This morning I found her in the coop dead under some leaves pretty beat up. Her back feathers torn out as well as her head and the back of her wings. I have to believe that it was the rooster who did this. I’m not sure what needs to be done now, if anything. I have a second small Banty and she’s keeping herself separated from the others. I’ve never seen him aggressive to any of the girls, but the 2 Banties have always stuck more to themselves and were quite aggressive toward him when he was younger. Now that he is bigger than everyone do I need to separate her all the time? One more thing, I have not collected any eggs for about 2 weeks now. So maybe he is stressing all of them more than I thought? Does he need to go? Please help!
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi

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    Are you sure it was him and not a predator? He could have done it, but usually feather loss on the back occurs from overbreeding, the rooster mating with the hen too many times over a period of time. Roosters don't usually tear the feathers off the back all at once. Out of the back of the head, yes, if they are grabbing them to steady themselves and the hen is struggling or jerks her head, but not the back or wings.

    If he is a large fowl rooster and she is a bantam, he may have accidentally crushed her in an attempt to mate because of the size difference, but that again wouldn't account for all the feathers being torn out of her back and wings.

    Although, if he did accidentally crush her, and then took the opportunity to mate with her body repeatedly (hormones in young roosters cause them to do some unsavory things) then that would account for all of it.

    Is he overly aggressive with the hens? As in, does he attack them, force them to mate when they don't want to, etc? Or could this just have been an accident due to the size difference? If the former, eat him. If the latter, then it's not his fault, and it would be best that you rehome the remaining bantam and get him some hens that are an appropriate size for him.

    On the egg front, if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, the shorter days are triggering the hens to molt, which halts laying, and then their hormones are usually not triggered to start them back up laying until they are getting about 14 hours of light a day again. Usually this means they stop laying until the spring.
     
    microchick, Trish1974, aart and 4 others like this.
  3. Jessica Thompson

    Jessica Thompson Songster

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    You got any pictures??? Of rooster and dead hen
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  4. Jessica Thompson

    Jessica Thompson Songster

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    And sorry for your loss:hit
     
  5. Sandychic

    Sandychic In the Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2017
    633E4296-BC29-451B-B47C-82DAB83D113F.jpeg AE96C11F-7ADC-47B5-B4CC-3A08EDE9A45A.jpeg
    This is him, and the 2 Bantams are behind. He is pretty big, but I’ve not seen him being aggressive toward any of the girls. I’m sure it wasn’t a raccoon or opossum, there would have been muscle damage, and /or more blood and carnage. She was not eaten at all. I’m sorry I didn’t take any photos of her. But the feathers were torn off her head and she had a large area de feathered on her back, and some of her wing.
     
  6. venymae

    venymae Prairie Wind

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    I'm sorry for your loss :( Your birds are gorgeous. I would simply watch your flock carefully for any aggression, really there is nothing standing out to me that would indicate the rooster killing her.
     
  7. It sounds like a hen is your culprit. It is very, very, unusual for a rooster to kill a hen but then you don't have a rooster but rather a "cockerel" A mature rooster should be the peacekeeper. However I have seen hens who refused a mature rooster's advances be left to the tender mercies of the other hens in the flock.
     
    Chickassan likes this.
  8. RoostersAreAwesome

    RoostersAreAwesome Free Ranging

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    That sounds more like a predator then a rooster to me. Are you sure your coop is secure?
     
  9. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    I personally think @chickengeorgeto hit the nail on the head. Hens can be nasty pieces of work,sometimes they are worse than roos. Where you said she was defeathered it sounds like she was down,submitting and got plucked and pounded to death. That would explain why your other bantam is steering clear as well.
     
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  10. Sandychic

    Sandychic In the Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2017
    Thank you everyone for your advice. I’ll watch them closer and double check that there are no predators getting in. I guess this is the down side to chickens. They’ve been so much a pleasure until now.
     

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