Nest sitting hen and battered hen - two questions, help please.


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
I have a hen that likes to try and roost on top of a nestbox every night. It's almost a game with us. She sits on the nestbox, I go in and move her, with no squawking or fussing on her part, put her on a roost and she's perfectly happy. She's not my problem.

The hen I'm wondering about has on several occasions gone in a nestbox in the early evening, a couple hours before the rest of the flock goes in and she wants to stay there all night. If I try to move her she raises a big fuss, with lots of squawking. I've been leaving her on the nest, thinking she might be trying to go broody, but the next morning she comes flying out of the coop with the rest. I'm thinking I should go ahead and move her at night despite her objections. She usually doesn't poo in the nest overnight, but she has once or twice and I hate having to clean a perfectly good nest.

My second question involves a battered hen. She's my roo's favorite and something about the way they hook up together, she's a mess. He wears her out. She wears a saddle with shoulder pads full time, but still looks rough. She'd need full body armor to keep from looking bad. None of the other hens show wear from his mating them and he is mating them all except one.
If I cull this hen - give her away - do you think I'll end up with the same problem with another hen? I don't think he mates the battered hen more than the others, it's just something about the way the two of them fit together, as I said.
I won't seperate or cull my roo. That's not even an option in my mind. I free range and he's the best insurance I've got against predators. If it were a problem with all the hens, I could see it being a roo problem, but it's only the one. Would giving this hen away solve the problem or only redirect it?
I had that problem with one hen looking so much worse than the rest. So I took her out and put her in a separate pen alongside the main pen. Within a week my roos second favorite looked just like the first one. He is still a little young and is getting better at his job so feathers are starting to grow back on all of them.
When my colored egg girls were younger, they slept in ONE nest box (all four of them), I just left them and they moved to the roost by themselves! It took about two weeks. I found that my RIR hen was pecking them one by one until they moved off the roost.. I guess they are older/bigger now..

If it's only one hen--maybe it's her and not the roo.. I wish I had only one--my roo is pulling feathers from all the hens ---5 out of 9 are bald.. I would need little football helmets!! I used to love him, until he decided to start flogging us...So, he will soon be invited to dinner..
That's what I'm afraid will happen if I remove this hen.
It could just be the size of the roo in comaprison to her too. My Large Brahma Boys and Giants tend to be a little rough on some of my Australorps and other hens; but the brahma/giant hens tend to hold their own against him.Maybe separating her for a couple of weeks might help out.
I think size difference has something to do with it in my case too. My roo is much bigger than my buff hens and they have lost a lot of feathers. My blue hen is almost as big as the roo and you wouldn't think she had been mating by looking at her, no feathers missing. But I have broken open eggs that I know are hers and they are fertile. My poor blue roo isn't allowed to mate with anybody, the dominant roo won't let him.
I have several roosters and a bunch of hens- all free range. I rehome the occasional battered hen to a friend's who does not have any roosters. It only seems to happen once a year, as my new pullets reach maturity and one seems to get the attention of more rooster(s) that she can handle. I feel bad for her getting scratched up and sunburnt, and it is easier to rehome her than deal with an apron. When I rehome her, I have NOT seen another hen get her feathers destroyed. I think some hens seem more interesting to the roosters, or just more submissive.
I'm still considering re-homing her. I feel bad for her and she's among my biggest hens. There are several that are smaller than her. I think I'll ask around today to see if I can find her another home.
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