1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Please help me understand. My dear sweet rooster killed his mate...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by My Hens and Roo, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. My Hens and Roo

    My Hens and Roo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2012
    Cornelius Oregon
    My Coop
    I wasn't sure where to post this. It is so very complicated. I am heartbroken!
    Two months ago because of a noise complaint I had to re-home my little Sultan Rooster.
    It seemed to me a no-brainer to send his mate as well. We raised them together since day one. How they loved one another, they were inseperable! He always protected her from the bigger girls in our laying flock. Always.
    The farm that is fostering them is only a 20 minute drive and I go out every night to care for them. I have been concerned for them since the second week they were away. So have the folks at the farm. Their health has slowly declined, they have lost weight and have been in a never ending molt...Stress?
    We have noticed how our hen has slowly but consistently become more and more aggressive towards her rooster. Last week I was shocked when I opened the door to their coop and she "Çrowed" at me over and over! Ed, the man at the farm called me to say they were fighting...as roosters! It is true, I saw it myself. She had her neck feathers puffed up and it was she who was initiating the attack.
    Today Ed called and was distraught! Rooster had killed his little hen!
    I want to bring him home! This is horrible! I know some will say HE needs to be culled. But truly, he is the sweetest rooster ever! What happened!? Knowing him..under different circumstances, if she would have just died, here at home he would be mourning the loss. Actually, Ed says it appears he is. He just stands looking lost!
    I just want to bring him Home!!
  2. farmgirl7

    farmgirl7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2014
    Hanging into Texas
    I don't know what to say...such a sad story! Sounds like she was the aggressor and if she got in-to-it like another rooster, they must have fought to the death. Maybe you should just bring him home, at least for awhile, so he can mourn somewhere other than where she died. He'll also be with someone he knows well....YOU! Good luck with your little rooster.
  3. My Hens and Roo

    My Hens and Roo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2012
    Cornelius Oregon
    My Coop
    Thank you for your response. I am always so very grateful for this forum. It seems sometimes that others who are not, chicken people if you will, just don't understand.
    Again, thank you
  4. Spoiled Birds

    Spoiled Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2014
    are you POSITIVE it was a hen?
    did you get eggs?
  5. farmgirl7

    farmgirl7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2014
    Hanging into Texas
    Is your avatar a picture of the two? Was the hen laying yet? Not knowing them, I wondered if perhaps the "hen" was actually an immature rooster that matured during his stay away from you. There seems to be a lot of confusion about whether younger chickens are male or female here on the forum. During the 2 months, did you notice any changes in appearance of the "hen" that might signal that she was actually a rooster? Like her comb, wattles or tail? The "crowing" and "fighting like roosters" is what makes me wonder.... and would better explain what happened; like two brothers fighting for territory. A lot of what chickens do and the way they act is instinctive. They don't "think" as much as
    we do.

    I'm really sorry for your loss.
  6. My Hens and Roo

    My Hens and Roo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2012
    Cornelius Oregon
    My Coop
    I have learned A LOT since writing this thread! Yes she was a hen... 2 years old and NO he indeed did not kill her. In fact he was injured trying to save her...From a HAWK attack. Turns out, the help that was suppose to be watching All the poultry on the farm while the owners were away for those few hours, slacked and didn't watch them at all!!
    He tried to cover himself saying he killed her. Another worker stepped forward with the truth.
    Our little guy is coming along a little better each day. The first few days were rough. Two nights in a row he would wake us crowing over and over. When we got to him he would be panting and shaking. The rest of the night he would want to be held..all night long I slept with a rooster in our recliner, who laid on my chest with a towel under him, head snuggled into the crook of my arm. Sad...very sad! There is no doubt in my mind he was reliving the event. There is proof that chickens have both memories and emotions. I for one believe this.
    I have taken this story to the press. The laws regarding noise in this town are unconstitutionally vague and I intend to campaign to amend those laws! I am still keeping him illegally (noise ordinance) but there are no ordinances in this town pertaining to either chickens or roosters.
    Somethings we do because of the law and sometimes we do things because it is morally right!
    Thank you for your comments and concern. All of you!
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 7, 2012
    Does your town allow dogs? Do dogs bark?
  8. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

    Jan 10, 2013
    So sorry about your loss. I too believe they have emotions and am positive they have memory. Likely he will mourn the loss, but than goodness he has you to help him thru this.
    1 person likes this.
  9. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2012
    When my Polish pullet Tina was killed by a possum, her constant companion Bjork was absolutely morose for weeks. She just sat on the perch she and Tina used to share and didn't forage with the rest of the flock. Another Polish pullet, Bubbles, started hanging out with Bjork, and stayed by her side until Bjork rejoined the flock after a week or two. In this, I saw both the capacity for grief and the capacity for compassion that exists within chickens.

    Even before I had chickens I'd seen birds die of loneliness after a mate died, so I've never doubted chickens were capable of grief as well. I've been criticized by some for applying human emotions to my chickens, but just because chickens don't think and feel things exactly the same way we do doesn't mean they don't feel at all. While it's important to remember that chickens aren't human and won't respond to things exactly the way we would, they have their own emotional "programming" that has to be considered when they're dealing with situations like this. You are doing the right thing for your rooster by providing him with companionship and security while he copes with his trauma.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  10. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

    Dec 12, 2013
    I'm so sorry for your loss and for your poor rooster having to go through this. You're right about some people not understanding, a lot of people seem to think, "Well, it's only a chicken/rooster/dog/cat", etc. Animal lovers of all kinds know there is no such thing as "only" a ....

    Maybe to prevent anyone from complaining about noise, a "no crow" collar would help? I don't have personal experience with these as we don't have a roo, but I've read on here from others that a collar can be helpful. Here's a link to where they are offered for sale at mypetchicken.

    Thank goodness you are there to help your boy out. Please keep us posted on how he is doing.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by