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New Hens being picked on by Rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jessie NZ, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. Jessie NZ

    Jessie NZ New Egg

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    Jun 2, 2016
    Hi there,

    I am new to the BYC and to raising chickens.

    I rescued a rooster after he was attacked by a dog with the intention of getting rid of him once he was better, however he was such a character and lovely to have around I decided to keep him.

    It seemed he was getting quite lonely and made friends with our dog and myself, so I thought I would get him some girlfriends. However, after meeting them he immediately decided to attack them. Pecking their backs and chasing them around the run, im not sure if its just because I am feeding them and hes being greedy.
    So he will follow me out of the run and I leave the 2 girls in there by themselves. He does visit them through the fence and seems to be ok.
    I have set up a make shift roost and nest for them outside of the coop as I dont want them to be stuck in there with him if he decides to continue have another go.

    Is this normal behaviour? Should I leave him in the run to 'work it out'? Should I keep them separated until he is more used to them?

    The run is large so they have plenty of space to escape if needed.

    ANy help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Welcome to Backyard Chickens. It's not normal for him to attack the hens but it's also normal because he's defending his territory. Some roosters will be immediately happy to have hens, others don't know what to do with them. You best option is to divide the space with a fence and let them get used to each other through the fence before trying to combine them. In a few weeks he should be more comfortable with their company and maybe be ready to interact in a positive way with them.

    That's how I would do it, you could let them work it out but it doesn't always work out best that way, birds can get hurt or even killed. So I prefer to take a slower way.
     
  3. Jessie NZ

    Jessie NZ New Egg

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    Jun 2, 2016
    Thank you for your reply.

    Ive just been out to see them and one of the girls has escaped and sitting in the bush next to the run with the rooster and the other girl sitting down on the other side of the fence together. The girl inside the run is the one he typically has a go at though.

    I guess my next problem is how do I get the escaped girl back in the run..? Ive found the hole and covered it but I don't want to chase her as she will go deeper into the bush and I won't be able to find her.

    I think taking it slow with them is definitely the way to go though, Ive seen some progress so maybe just some patience and space should help.

    Thanks again
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

    13,661
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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Sometimes you can slowly herd a chicken towards an opening. Otherwise if you keep an eye on her you should be able to snag her after dusk. Another option is block the other two from coming out and leave the run door open with the hope she goes in. Hopefully you get her. Last resort is to chase her down with a net, that's probably the last choice though because that can be pretty upsetting.
     
  5. Jessie NZ

    Jessie NZ New Egg

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    Jun 2, 2016
    Thanks for the suggestion. I will give them a go :)
     

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