Rooster DV issues...

WeFoChooks

Chirping
Dec 27, 2017
29
22
51
Hi all.
I have one rooster (Plymouth Rock) and 11 hens. Recently, 3 new hens were added and settled in fine. They were socialising with the rest of the hens and were fine with the rooster.
One of these hens (ISA Brown) is very tame and friendly. She'll let us pick her up and she tends to wander off and do her own thing apart from the flock. She was fine with the rooster to start with and he would feed her grains etc.
Suddenly, it's all gone wrong.
He has started belting her violently but she is so submissive she just lies there and buries herself into the grown under him. He's not even mating with her properly; he's just on her back belting her neck and comb.
We found her two days in the house garden away from the rest of the flock and he'd mutilated the back of her neck and her comb. It was covered in blood and broken right through to the flesh.

He doesn't do this to any of the other hens and is generally a fantastic rooster. He's never attacked people, although he did (I presume) kill his brother rooster when they came of age but I put that down to a dominance struggle. He's the only rooster now so it's not an issue.

For now the tame hen is recovering in a pen on her own but I'm concerned if I reintegrate her he'll just start brutalising her again, particularly since she's scarred and chooks seem to pick on the weakest link in the flock.

Any thoughts?

I think I'm going to have to try and find her a new home with some backyard chook people who want a pet and are rooster free.

If anyone has any other suggestions let me know but I can't see a feasible solution and I don't want to get rid of the rooster.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
First off how old is your flock including the rooster?
I don't know where you are, mine needs midol when he molts. It is up to you, but I personally would let hen heal, when your ready to introduce her to the flock, put the rooster in Chicken Jail where he's not able to get close to the hens for a few days, if when he gets out he does it again the rooster would be the one to leave, I do not tolerate a rooster that draws blood or brutalizes any of my hens. but I have my flock for the eggs also. Each flock master will do what they think is best for their flock and there is no right answer or wrong answer , just we share ideas and you choose what works best for you and your flock.
 

WeFoChooks

Chirping
Dec 27, 2017
29
22
51
First off how old is your flock including the rooster?
I don't know where you are, mine needs midol when he molts. It is up to you, but I personally would let hen heal, when your ready to introduce her to the flock, put the rooster in Chicken Jail where he's not able to get close to the hens for a few days, if when he gets out he does it again the rooster would be the one to leave, I do not tolerate a rooster that draws blood or brutalizes any of my hens. but I have my flock for the eggs also. Each flock master will do what they think is best for their flock and there is no right answer or wrong answer , just we share ideas and you choose what works best for you and your flock.

This is his first season. Hens all vary in ages but he's probably at least 6 months younger than the others although he's about 10 months old now. Your advice sounds like a good idea--reintegrate her and then put him in rooster jail. What is midol? Cheers
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Premium Feather Member
Jul 31, 2018
17,870
141,786
1,592
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
You write this particular hen is very friendly towards you. Does this mean you pick her up and pet her? If so that may be your problem.
As far as your rooster is concerned the hens are his, not yours and some roosters see will view your handling of a hen as mating with her so you then become competition.
Some roosters will become aggressive towards the human in this situation, others will take their aggression out on the hen. It's the chicken equivalent of beating an unfaithful wife.
This is one possibility.
This article may give you some ideas.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/understanding-your-rooster.75056/
 

WeFoChooks

Chirping
Dec 27, 2017
29
22
51
You write this particular hen is very friendly towards you. Does this mean you pick her up and pet her? If so that may be your problem.
As far as your rooster is concerned the hens are his, not yours and some roosters see will view your handling of a hen as mating with her so you then become competition.
Some roosters will become aggressive towards the human in this situation, others will take their aggression out on the hen. It's the chicken equivalent of beating an unfaithful wife.
This is one possibility.
This article may give you some ideas.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/understanding-your-rooster.75056/
Yes! Okay, I hadn't thought of that. That seems very likely as we had all been picking ehr up and petting her a lot.
Any solution here or once he sees her as someone else's is it fixed forever?
Cheers
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Premium Feather Member
Jul 31, 2018
17,870
141,786
1,592
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
Yes! Okay, I hadn't thought of that. That seems very likely as we had all been picking ehr up and petting her a lot.
Any solution here or once he sees her as someone else's is it fixed forever?
Cheers
Fixed forever hasn't been the case here. There are things you can do, one obviously is to stop picking her up and petting her. It may take some time for your cockerel to change his behavior towards this hen. Given he is still a youngster he will change in attitude as he matures.
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
61,135
53,412
1,322
southern Ohio
I would separate the rooster. It could be that she is so low in the pecking order that he is bullying her, or she is refusing to let him mate her (is she mature and laying yet?) I had a young cockerel who scalped and beat up a low pecking order and half blind Polish hen, who he left for dead in a ditch, and he was gone later that day, because I had another rooster, and some other meek hens.

These issues are handled differently by people. You can rehome the hen, rehome the rooster, keep him separated for awhile to calm down, and get a second chance. Hopefully your hens wounds will heal. Cleaning the wound twice a day with Betadine, Chlorhexidene, or saline, then applying some plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment would be good. Some use Vetericyn or a similar wound spray as well.
 

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