Not sure what's happening or why but I'm worried

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mvinotime, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. mvinotime

    mvinotime Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    Hi. Heres a little back story....my oldest and largest hen, Jane is a barred rock. She has always been the queen bee and pretty much in charge. In May I got two Frizzle Cochin banty roosters as babies. They are my only roosters and obviously much smaller than Jane and most of the other hens. They are all over the smaller girls and I have seen them on occasion try with Jane and some of the other larger hens but they wont have any part of it. Well as has been normal. My birds free range during day and go into a pen with an off ground coop with nests and roosts in it at night. In this particular coop have been Jane, one other larger hen and the banty roosters. I locked them all up as usual on Sunday night and when I went out Monday morning to let them out Jane didnt look right, she was puffed up and huddled near coop door as I got closer I could see her head was all bloody. A small portion of her comb almost looked gone she had wounds behind the comb and one eye was shut and not opening. I was so upset she is my favorite girl :( I know she has been with the other hen for a very long time and the roosters are the newer of them all so I ASSUMED one of them must of gotten to her? She sleeps on the floor of the coop not up on the roosts and I have notcied they both sleep right next to her at night. So I left her penned up with her hen buddy and kicked out the roosters to another area. She has been penned up with the hen since MOnday and she healed up nicely and they have no issues so this afternoon I let those two out to range with rest of flock until bedtime. I observed them and the roosters did come over and try to herd them a litttle but nothing aggressive and they seemed ok just doing their own thing.....so I left them and came back out two hours later right before dark to lock them up. The smaller of the roosters was in the other coop where I have been keeping them separate at night, the larger one was not there so as I thought he was in the orginal coop with Jane and the other hen. i ran him out and put him back with the other rooster and went back to final check the girls and Jane was all beat up again! UGH! Her comb was just hanging and her head was bloody with wounds behind the comb again. I cant understand why all of a sudden this is happening? I do not think at all that it was the other hen as they were fine for a couple years before this and were fine cooped up together once she was hurt the first time. Can anyone give me some chicken behavorial info that might shed some light on this? I am only a couple years into chickens and still learning. Jane IS the oldest hen and she is molting ALOT right now much more than the other birds as far as I can tell. Any info would be greatly appreciated and thank you for reading my novel ;) Just worried about my best girl.
     
  2. youngchooklover

    youngchooklover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LITTLE!
     
  3. mvinotime

    mvinotime Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    I'm sorry I didnt understand your reply??
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] Do you find any blood on the young roos or the other hen? To have all that damage done to her, somebody has to have blood on their beak, feathers or feet. I think I would
    put all of them in separate areas/cages until the culprit is discovered. Is it possible you have some predator lurking - dog, cat, etc. that takes advantage of the situation? Roos herding the flock is normal BUT, if a bird refuses to follow their prodding it may very well be attacked.
     
  5. mvinotime

    mvinotime Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    Thank you for your reply. I did not notice any but to be honest I didnt check that day as I was just worried about her and didnt think of it. I will say that she has always refused to submit to them. I have seen her in the past actually send the little rooster rolling when he tried so I know she has not been at all cooperative so maybe that would bring out aggression in the rooster? Is that common in chickens? I know nothing else is in the yard as far as dogs cats etc and the damage is just to the head/comb area and the second attack ONLY occurred once I let them out together again. Is it suggested that I just keep them permanently separate at this point?
     
  6. niqueie

    niqueie Chillin' With My Peeps

    It definitely sounds like the rooster is doing it to show who is the boss. She is being bullied by them for sure. I'm new and don't have much experience, but I would put the Roo in a long time out (1 week at least) to knock him down and see if he goes right back to it. Put him out of sight of the others. If he is aggressive after that then either separate permanently or get a nicer rooster. Sorry to hear of the injury
     
  7. mvinotime

    mvinotime Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    Thank you. I appreciate the insight. I have him currently separated and confined. I will see how it goes once I let him loose again and keep a close eye but he will for sure have to go if he is still that aggressive. :( Such a shame as he is such a gorgeous little guy.
     

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