pullet & cockerel fighting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LAFreewayChickens, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. We have two EE's out in our tractor, about 10 weeks old (perhaps a little older).

    We are fairly certain that one is a pullet and the other is a cockerel.

    This morning we woke up to the sound of squawking.

    Looking out the window at them, i thought the pullet had something really good to eat, the way she was running away from him and he was trying to get at her head. She was mostly trying to hide her head in a corner, behind the waterer.

    I went out and my presence seemed to distract them some. He came over by me to see if i had something good to eat and I could see some blood on his comb.

    When she came out from the corner, he went after her, pulling feathers and trying to peck her comb (which also showed blood).

    She flew up to a roost with her head next to the wire and he let her be for a bit.

    I opened the door and got him to come over to me. I took him out and put him in a cage.

    Is this normal behavior for chickens of different sexes? Do they need to work out their pecking order?

    Normally they puff up at each other and chase around when I let them out to free range, but I haven't seen fighting like this yet.

    The only other factor that was unusual was that they had tipped over their feed, As a result it wasn't in the usual place, but on the other hand, there was no shortage of food scattered all over the ground.

    Assuming the cockerel is, in fact, a roo, we won't be keeping him in the long run. Up til now we have been keeping him partly in the hopes that everyone is wrong and he's a rooish-pullet (hard to tell with EEs) and partly to keep the pullet company until our two 5-6 week Golden Comet pullets are old enough and large enough to move in with the EE pullet and hold their own. (The Golden Comets are in a cage next to the tractor by day and inside in a brooder at night).

    If the cockerel is going to fight with the pullet, perhaps we should get rid of him now (and in fact we'll be near a farm with a rooster re-homing program tomorrow).

    I'd appreciate an advice about how to deal with the situation to minimize any damage/injuries from fighting.

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