My young rooster just killed one of the hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jenmenke, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. jenmenke

    jenmenke In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2009
    I'm in shock. I feel so insanely doomed with my chickens lately, its hard to even know where to start...

    I bought 3 young chickens from a woman on craigs list who was "pretty sure" they were hens. They were still too young for me to know. Within a couple weeks, they sprouted up and I was suspecting they were roosters. A couple more weeks and I was certain they were roos.

    I have had mean roosters and I have had nice ones. I vowed a long time ago that I would not put up with another mean one, so I had been waiting it out to see which was the "keeper."

    In the meantime, Last week, I got an additional four 8-week old birds from a local woman. I kept them separate from the older flock.

    Yesterday was the big day to get rid of two of the roosters, which we did. Traumatic, for sure. It was the first time we had killed any of our own chickens. I've lost plenty of chickens to racoons, coyotes and dogs, but it's different when you are doing it yourself.

    I put the remaining rooster in the coop together with the others late last night. When I went out there early this morning, it wasn't early enough. I found a dead hen laying in a corner of the coop with the rooster standing over her, blood all over the place!

    What the xxxx? I've had chickens for over 13 years, I have never EVER had anything like this happen? What do I do? They are separated again. He's gotta go, right? Could I have known this would happen? This was the DOCILE rooster! Did he go mental when the other two disappeared and he became king of the hill?

    I just so sad.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2009

  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    [​IMG] So sorry! [​IMG]
  3. 1stepcloser

    1stepcloser Poultry In Motion

    Sep 16, 2009
    Dover, TN
    OMG! That is horrible!! I am so sorry that happened.

    I don't know what to say other than enjoy dinner tonight....stewed chicken. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
    marierod likes this.
  4. AmyBella

    AmyBella Songster

    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    Oh my gosh, that is terrible! I don't have a whole lot of experience with this sort of thing, but I bet the new rooster was forced to defend himself... he was put in a new situation and probably got picked on by the hens. I wouldn't necessarily condemn him for what happened. Can you divide the coop so that he can see, hear and smell the hens (and vice-versa) without getting to them? Maybe they need to get used to each other?

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a crummy way to start the day!

  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Are you positive the rooster killed her? That is really unusual for a rooster to kill a hen in that manner. Maybe something got into the coop and he fought it off after it killed the hen? How awful.
    marierod, ygritte and chrisbekah1 like this.
  6. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    Quote:That's kind of what I was thinking.
  7. mulia24

    mulia24 Songster

    i also don't think he killed the hen, but i do have a hen that lost 40% of her feathers to my roo. not to mate her but to torture and try to kill her.


    it's so rare to find a roo kill a hen since roo love almost *all* girls.

    i think you'd better wait and try to find out the killer. he could be suspected but he could also be innocent.

    i'm sorry to hear that. [​IMG]

  8. jenmenke

    jenmenke In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2009
    You guys, I am 100% POSITIVE it was him. I walked in, right after it happened. He had blood all over his legs and beak. He was standing over the body. She was in a corner, under the hanging water, blood all over the walls.

    Plus, my coop is a veritable Ft Knox, after many, many losses. It was all shut up for the night. No breaches. No open doors. (SEE PIC LINK)[email protected]/3940786583/

    As for letting them see and hear each other before putting them together, I had already done that for the past week. Every day the roosters were right next door to the hens in their own fenced areas. (SEE PIC LINK)[email protected]/3941564158/in/set-72157622300439621/

    I am positive it was him. The other birds were all blood free.

    So, you are basically saying "very unusual, hard to believe, etc. etc.?" I guess I have to chalk this one up to "it can only happen to me."

    I can't trust him. If I had a guess, I would say, he doesn't know his own hormones. I selected him as the "keeper" rooster, because he has been very docile with me (tho I know that can change) and has shown traditional "protective" behavior toward the hens.
  9. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Quote:No, it HAS happend before..I've read posts on here about it..but something was wrong with the hen though...I'll try to find the was a while ago...It IS very rare though..from what i understand..

  10. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    I'm so sorry - I would be very shocked & upset too! I wonder if the new hens were just to young to integrate with the rest of the flock. The new ones are 9 weeks old, right? How old is the roo and the rest of the flock?

    When we tried to add new pullets to our flock, the older hens were merciless in chasing the youngsters around, even when they had been living next to each other for weeks. I had to separate them and reintroduce them later, when they were closer to the same size. I've also heard not to introduce chicks to an older flock until they are old enough not to be peeping anymore.

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