My rooster killed my new pullet, why?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ShelleyLB, May 19, 2014.

  1. ShelleyLB

    ShelleyLB Hatching

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    Over the weekend, I integrated my 5 new pullets into my flock. Before the integration, there was one Cochin hen (who is sitting on a nest right now) and a sebright rooster. I was worried that he would be mean, but over the weekend there was no over the top aggression towards them- just the typical pecking order stuff. The pullets would always run away. Well today, I went to check on them after work, and he killed one! It seems like he did it pretty gruesome too, the poor thing was scalped. Why would my rooster do something like that? Will he keep killing? For now, I put the rooster into a separate cage, within the coop until I figure out what to do.
     
  2. Coles FreshEggs

    Coles FreshEggs In the Brooder

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    Yes, this happens. Roosters are very aggressive and territorial. When you mix flocks, there will sometimes be intense aggression, to the point of death. It's something that happens. He may do it again, he may not.
     
  3. CrazyChickGirl

    CrazyChickGirl Chirping

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    How old were your pullets?! I also recently integrated new chickens into my flock and one also got scalped. Almost the same scenario. The scalped one lived though... But is very sad looking. Chickens can be mean.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  4. ShelleyLB

    ShelleyLB Hatching

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    They're 5 weeks old. They're a little smaller than the rooster now, and I was told to integrate them while the chicks were still smaller than him. Is my best bet to wait until the pullets are just as big or bigger than him to let him back in with the flock?
     
  5. CrazyChickGirl

    CrazyChickGirl Chirping

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    Well, how old is the rooster? What size? I think five weeks is a little young. Ours were 8 weeks and it still happen :/ In the future I will be waiting till they are close to the same size. Space can play into this equation as well. Many chickens feel like the newcomers are a threat. If the newcomers are smaller and younger they don't have the skills to defend themselves and are an easy target.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  6. ShelleyLB

    ShelleyLB Hatching

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    I thought they were too young too, but was told to make sure the chicks were still smaller than the rest of the flock when I integrated them, and since the rest of the flock is bantams, the chicks are just a little smaller than them now. And it turns out there is another twist to this, the rooster is actually a hen. I put "him" in a separate cage after the murder, checked on them today after work, and there's an egg in the cage. I thought from the beginning that it was a hen, but then it started crowing like a rooster and since my other hen started sitting on a nest, I hadn't seen any more eggs being layed. So last week, I decided it must be a rooster. Are hens usually that aggressive to kill?
     
  7. ShelleyLB

    ShelleyLB Hatching

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    Oh and my other 2 chickens just turned 1 year old
     
  8. CrazyChickGirl

    CrazyChickGirl Chirping

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    Yes, hens can be aggressive and can occasionally crow if they are feeling like the head honcho. Our situation was a 4 month old hen scalping a 2 month old rooster.

    It's hard because in "chicken world" it seems like everyone has different answers. There is not a set way of doing things. Sometimes it turns out ok and sometimes not. I've been getting some good info from a local 4H Leader. I feel like I can trust her experience and she has really helped me to know how to care for my injured Roo.
     

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