rooster picking on a hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by upriver, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. upriver

    upriver Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2009
    Hello-

    5 Hens (2 BOs and 3 EEs) and one Rooster (Cochin/Araucana mix) are sharing a coop with a daytime run. The rooster has always been nice to us and the ladies, but recently has started picking on one of the BOs. She now has a bare spot on the back of her head from this treatment. Are there any interventions? Anything to do before we have to consider giving him up?

    thanks!
     
  2. farmer geek

    farmer geek Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2010
    You could put some tar or Vicks on the hens bare spot to discourage pecking. If it gets to bad you can separate the victim until recovery. Also the roosters sometimes pick because of not getting enough nutrients.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Seperate the rooster away from the hens for a while then reintroduce him. If you seperate the hen, the other hens and the rooster will all attack her upon reintroduction. If his "bad boy" behavior continues, do what has to be done. People or hen aggressive roosters reproduce more just like themselves.
     
  4. upriver

    upriver Out Of The Brooder

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    Today I noticed one of the other hens picking on her, and that eruption of squawks attracts the rooster. It seems that for whatever reason, there is now an outcast. Yet y'all say do not remove her? I'll try some of the topical stuff today...
     
  5. allmypeeps

    allmypeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you tell who the fight starter is??

    If the rooster is not the one starting it, he may very well cease to do it if the fight starter is removed...

    Also, if that one hen is being picked on, see if perhaps she is ailing in some way, sometimes the others sense something 'not right' about another bird and will eliminate them from the flock---BUT sometimes there is just a bossy butt in there and once there is a commotion the flock can act like a pack of wild dogs and join the attack...its just nature....

    If nothing is wrong with the victim bird- try and remove the meany. The rooster may not be the issue.

    What breed is the meany? some breeds are more agressive than others which is unfortunate for the docile breeds.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  6. upriver

    upriver Out Of The Brooder

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    The victim is a buff orpington, and the hasslers are easter eggers and a cochin-araucana rooster. the other BO seems to be leaving her alone.
     
  7. allmypeeps

    allmypeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well, if no one likes the poor thing maybe you could rehome her, unless you are thinking of getting more birds- then introduce everyone to evey one, they will all need to figure out the entire pecking order again and may forget all about the issue they had with her..now if EVERYONE wants to tan her hide, you know you either got to give her other houseing arrangements or just let her free range alone, or give her away...

    at least thats what I'd do. Birds can be real 'peckers' some times! And of course I mean that in the most innocent way [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  8. upriver

    upriver Out Of The Brooder

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    Update:

    It is not just the rooster. ALL of other ladies were attacking her. This started suddenly, after a year and a half of total peace. I put Vick's on the victim's neck. She stopped venturing out to eat, so put a little food in with her and kept the others away for a while. They still shared a roost at night. She ended up figuring out how to get on top of the nesting box to find a little refuge.

    We then added a neighbor's spare Australorp pullet, being told shuffling the deck might help. Now we have TWO outcasts! Both of them are in rough shape, bald around the base of the neck. I've temporarily moved these two (the original victim and the new pullet) into a segregated area to heal. I know its been mentioned that isolating them might even make it worse, but it seems like a life and death matter at this point. I'd rather rehome them than find them dead.

    Any advice welcome!
     
  9. HeidiG

    HeidiG Out Of The Brooder

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    Part of the problem may be that you have too few hens for your rooster. I've read that you should have 8-10 hens for each rooster, otherwise they're overly active and can injure the hens. Once your hen is injured the others will peck at her relentlessly.

    You should never, ever introduce a single smaller hen to an established flock. They will always attack her. They have to be the same size, and you still have to watch them carefully.

    Seperate the injured ones until they're healed.

    Do you free range your birds, or are they confined?
     

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