New rooster being picked on by hens.


6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
I have found lots of info in the forums about introducing new flock members that have been very useful, but none I feel have touched on the problem I am having. I got a new rooster a few days ago and I think he had been picked on in his previous home. from the right side of his breast nearly the full length of his neck the feathers were missing giving him a porcupine appearance, after a couple days of isolation I tried introducing him and the hens immediately took to picking at the quills.He now he has very red bald spots. i am going to separate them tonight after he roosts but my question is will he lose those feathers and grow new ones or will the quills have to be removed for proper healing. I think after he heals and with enough time he will find his dominant spot but i don't want him to get pecked to death in the mean time.
Keep him in quarantine until all his feathers grow back. Even then you will have to watch for over- grooming, picking at the comb and wattles. Often a young rooster just can't keep the hens in line and will need time to assert his presence.

Once all his feathers are back, you can try introducing him for a few hours at a time until you feel he is safe. You can also try removing the dominant hen (the one who gets to eat first, runs the hens from the food) and putting the rooster in. Once things seem settled you can then add the dominant hen and see how it goes.

If you have a flock of hens who have been without a rooster for a few weeks, the dominant hen will give the new guy a run for his money. Chickens can be brutal. Hens want what they think is the best of the best and they want the new guy to prove his mettle. They will pull at his feathers, and go for his wattles and comb. Some of the really fractious hens will square off with the rooster and actually fight him. This is how you end up with battered hens.

Also make sure you have enough space for your flock. Overcrowding will cause problems of this nature. A free range flock has plenty of room to allow the weaker ones to escape.

Hope this helps.
It does very much how long does it usually take to grow back feathers like that and do you think I should be giving him anything. Like food or water type vitamin boosters
All chickens need a good diet consisting of a variety of food. I feed my roosters a wild bird seed mixture combined with about 20 % of dry cat food. Any type of greens such as clover, kale, or grass will be appreciated by all your chickens. Food scraps (Including meat and boneless fish) from your table is a good way to add variety to the diet. I don't use vitamins in the water as mature chickens eat more than they drink. However, I've been known to add electrolytes to water during extreme hot weather.

Good luck! I hope this helps.
Hens can be brutal

You can see the broken feathers from where the hens yanked on his hackle feathers

Note how this hen challenges him by a getting on his level and making direct eye contact.

Another challenge. Note how he avoids eye contact

Here is the partial eye contact. The hen is not flinching or giving ground.

Totally hen pecked.

He now lives in the bachelor coop and has regrown all his feathers.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom