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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jenmenke, Sep 21, 2009.
Wow...that's weird....sorry for your loss jenmenke.
The rooster is approximately 13-14 weeks old, the others are almost 10 weeks old They were almost 9 when I got them 9 days ago. They are still peeping a bit. But my gawd, I mean the rooster practically just stopped peeping! Seriously! The other two he was with matured at different rates, though there were from the same hatching. He was the largest, by far, but the other two probably only stopped peeping a week or two ago.
The other hen seemed totally normal. It was an arakauna (never can remember how to spell that, though I've had the breed forever). I did find her jammed into a corner the first day I brought her here and thought she had been attacked, but when I went to see and pet her, she popped up squawking and ran away. It was then that I thought "hmmm. better separate the roosters." which I did. I had been observing them a bit and believed it was the red rooster (which we killed yesterday) jumping on and pecking the hens.
(That behavior is to be expected, of course. What sealed his fate is that he was doing it to me, too.)
I've heard stories of roosters aggressively mating with hens. It could happen, and though rare, it has happened before. I usually like to keep an eye out when I first let everyone meet without a fence. Watching them break the ice also assures me that the birds don't feel the need to kill each other when I'm not around. They get used to having no boundaries. That way, I can make sure everything is settled come Day 1 without my being there.
I think the age may have had something to do with it. I have read that it is advised to NOT put any chicks that are still peeping in with older ones. Maybe your rooster felt he was protecting his original flock?
On another note, it is recommended that when introducing new to your flock, to let them get to know each other a little before hand. For example, free range together --WITH supervision. Or, put them in the same run or coop together, BUT with fencing or the like separating them (so they see each other but do not touch).
Another bit of good advice I have learned is to always quarantine your new arrivals for a month, before introducing them to your flock. Some diseases take over 2 weeks to show up. Also, this is a good time to ensure they do not have mites and lice, etc.
Good luck. I am sorry for your loss.
By the way ...
i'm so sorry for your loss. Poor hen. i guess you just never know what chickens are going to do from one moment to the next.
i did want to say though, your coop and run are really lovely. Hope things go better for you and your chickens in the future.
Though highly unusual, it's certainly possible. Most of the time, the way a hen dies at from a rooster is that during mating, he may accidentally break her neck, etc. Something that bloody is just bizarre.
l would agree that age is the most likely culprit. But given that his siblings had only stopped peeping themselves in the week or two before, I really didn't think it was an issue.
Also, and I said this before. They _were_ introduced slowly, right next to each other with a fence between them. And the _were_ observed on an off the day before. This happened in the coop before I let them out after the previous day had gone well.
I had a hen that had a small hole punched in the side of her head near her ear. She was still alive but there was obvious brain damage. I had to dispatch her. I am fairly sure it was the result of a spur, not meant for her, but probably another rooster. I cannot imagine what else would have caused such an injury. Any thoughts?
I am so sorry
That is very strange- if the rooster actually did kill the other bird (and not a predator and he got blood on himself by accident), are you positive that the dead bird is actually a PULLET? Roosters will fight and sometimes bloody/kill each other, but it is really unusual that a rooster kills a hen (except by overzealous mating/accident). Hens on the other hand are well known for killing younger birds when introduced (both pullets and cockerels)- they do not like newbies, and need to be introduced cautiously. If this person who gave you pullets last time, that all or most turned into roosters- are you sure of what she gave you this time?