Neck injuries to hens- could it be the cockerel?


9 Years
Jun 2, 2010
I have an Australorp cockerel who is a year old and massive. He is in with my 16 hens. He's a very busy cockerel, and can sometimes be a little rough with the hens, a few of them have bald bits on their backs, however nothing major and they all seemed happy enough.

A couple of months ago, I finally managed to get a couple of White Star (small leghorn type) hens. They settled in with the rest happily enough. However on Monday I noticed one of them was looking a little under the weather but nothing in particular so I left her there. The next day she looked really miserable so I caught her and found a nasty wound to the back of her neck. My husband thought it was quite an old wound that had started healing, so I isolated her and she's looking much better now.

Today I've just had to take the other White Star hen out of the main run as she's got the same horrible wound to the back of her neck and is bleeding so I think it must have just happened. As it's to the back of their necks, I'm wondering if it's the cockerel injuring them. But it seems strange it's just those two injured. Or if it's not him, what else could it be?

Any thoughts anyone?
Thanks for the replies. I've watched him enough to know he grabs their combs or necks when he wants them. So yes it must be him, I'm just surprised that out of all of the hens it is just the two White Stars who have such awful injuries, none of the others have ever ended up like that. I don't know if it's because they have the large combs so he's grabbing them by the neck more often or if they are more fragile or what to make this happen. I think he must want to leave home- he was crowing at 3am last night too - as if he wasn't in enough trouble already!

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