Rooster killed top hen in pecking order tonight!?!?!

jk_vt

Chirping
Feb 21, 2021
23
69
56
Wow... so I was grilling outside tonight and threw some fat and meat to our Chickens in the open run as I normally do as a treat for them.

(We have 3 older hens (Australorps) 3 pullet easter eggers, 3 golden laced Wyandottes and a silver laced Wyandotte rooster. We got the Australorps and Rooster together last year as a friend of ours moved from her farm so we took them from her. We have no idea how old the hens and rooster are, maybe 2-4 years old.) Anyway, they go crazy for the fat and meat and sometimes even squabble over it a bit. I heard some normal chicken noises, and then heard a lot of wing flapping so I went over to see what was going on and I saw our Rooster, to what I thought was "mating" with the highest hen in the pecking order, had her by the neck, doing his thing, and then I saw her wings flap go limp, her head fall to the ground and she was dead!!! I really don't know for sure what happened, but it sure looked like to me that he had broken her neck as all of the chickens were standing all around them looking. As soon as he got off of her, he went to one of the Wyandotte pullets and mated with her and then got off her and just stood there. It was a little surreal and took awhile to sink in, but has anyone ever seen or heard about this? This was the highest in the pecking order so all I can think off was that she was picking on one of the rooster's new favorites and he said enough is enough? He is really a very good Ro, never really had any trouble with him, never over protective, has always been gentle wit the girls, never problems with him pecking the neck or any raw spots, etc. and the previous owner says he is the best rooster she ever had.

Is this is something to worry about? Do I need to cull him or was this just a freak thing to protect others in the flock? Is it possible one of the hens killed her and then the rooster just added his dominance to the fight?

Any opinions, help or advice would be welcome. Thanks!
 

DobieLover

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If he's been with her all this time and you've fed them meat and fat in the past without incident, I'm inclined to think that your hen had something wrong with her and the stress of mating tipped her over the edge and she died.
I would consider doing a necropsy on her to see if you can tell what happened to her.
I really doubt your rooster killed her. It was just bad timing.
 

jk_vt

Chirping
Feb 21, 2021
23
69
56
If he's been with her all this time and you've fed them meat and fat in the past without incident, I'm inclined to think that your hen had something wrong with her and the stress of mating tipped her over the edge and she died.
I would consider doing a necropsy on her to see if you can tell what happened to her.
I really doubt your rooster killed her. It was just bad timing.
Thanks for that insight. Yes he was always with her and seemed to be his favorite. They actually went into the nesting box together or he would stand by the door and stood on watch while she laid. Very strange he would hurt her so maybe this was the case.
 

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