Pullets beating up the cockerels


In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
Wakefield, RI

My flock was born March 1st. It consists of 5 RI Red Pullets, 2 GL Polish Cockerels, 1 GL Polish pullets, 5 white silkies and 3 silver sebrights.

I have no problems with the larger chickens beating up the bantams. They all seem to get along well. However my RI Red pullets beat up on my GL Polish cockerels. About a month ago one of them started to crow for maybe two days. Then about half of his tail feathers went missing. Then maybe two days ago he started crowing again. I heard him faintly maybe 3-4 times. He couldn't crow very loud. That day I went out to feed and water them and noticed that all his tail feathers were gone (The ones that stick up, he isn't bald back there).

Has anyone had this happen before?

I guess it is kind of nice to have roosters that don't crow but I feel bad that they are bullying him. I know they aren't the best at defending themselves. The two cockerels don't really fight each other so I know it's not them doing it to each other. Every once in a while one will get a glimpse of the other and get excited but by the time he is ready to fight the other one has moved out of his field of vision and they forget about it.


Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
I don't have the experience myself, but I've seen several posts where young cockerels often get beat up by hens and pullets. Once the cockerels reach their maturity and assert themselves it will stop. I would not worry about the bullying. That is just flock dynamics working itself out.

One thing I'd be concerned about is that feather picking could lead to something more serious if it becomes an ingrained habit. All it takes is a drop of blood when a feather is picked. There are different products that people put on feathers to make them taste bad to help break that habit. Tar is one. You might do a search on here on feather picking to find out what those products are and how to use them.

Good luck!

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