Rooster picking on specific hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by The Accidental Coop, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. The Accidental Coop

    The Accidental Coop Out Of The Brooder

    Our flock: One 5 year old rooster (we have had him since he was a chick), 5 hens ages 1 to 3 yrs.

    Our rooster has never been aggressive. The past week he has zeroed on one hen and has been attacking her (not mating). The instant he sees her he goes straight for her. I have never seen this type of behavior. We let them free range during the day and poor Millie has to hide from him. Putting them in the coop in the late afternoon is becoming a horror for Millie. She hides in a nesting box or cowers in the dirt to stay away from him.

    Why would Drumstick start this now? Is this common?

    Thank you for your suggestions!
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I am not sure, but I think there might be something wrong with Mille, and he is keeping her from the rest of the flock. I have had roosters sense a disease or illness before I notice it. She may be getting ready to die from natural causes.

    I think I would cull her from the flock if he is a good roo, and I am assuming he is if you have had him 5 years. If he starts in on another hen, I would then cull him.

    MrsK
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree with Mrs K. I'd seperate her and see how she does. I think that roo knows sometthing's going on that we can't see yet.

    Now, I've also had roosters that stalked specific hens to overmate them, IMO that's a totally different thing and I culled the rooster for that. But what you're describing makes me think there's something wrong with this hen.
     
  4. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a rooster that took a dislike to a hen from my first flock. I got him with my second group. Everything was fine till he got about 6mos old. He was doing the same thing, attacking, running her off from the flock. I tried separating the rooster from the flock for a week. But when I reintroduced them, he went right at her. He would have eventually killed her I'm sure. So off to freezer camp he went. There was nothing wrong with this hen either. I still have her, and she's doing great.
    Jack
     
  5. The Accidental Coop

    The Accidental Coop Out Of The Brooder

    Millie is my best layer. She laid an egg yesterday afternoon, is eating normally and seems fine other than being frazzled and lost because of the rooster. Of the 5 hens 3 are Bantams and one is a Silkie....Very docile gals. Because Millie is a millie fleur D'Uccle she does not look like the others. She is very active with a personality much like a Sebright I had a few years ago. Could such a different personality contribute to his behavior?
     
  6. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll tell you, I can't even pretend to know the mind of a rooster, but who knows, maybe the different personality is a factor. The hen my rooster went after has a generally crabby personality. (Unless you have some treats for her) But she is a productive egg layer, so she is sticking around. Also, both the rooster and hen in my situation were BOs. He just took a serious dislike to her, for what, I don't know.
    Maybe you could build a small separate RoosterCoop, then you could more control their interactions. Because you don't see the half of what is going on in the coop when you are not there. Goodluck with it.
    Jack
     
  7. The Accidental Coop

    The Accidental Coop Out Of The Brooder

    I just put all the chickens, except Millie, into the coop for the night. Millie is in our 'hospital' cage. She seems fine. She ate her treats and jumped right into the nesting box. We will try this for a few days to make sure she is not sick.

    I am afraid Jack could be right...Our roo may have taken a dislike to her for some unknown reason.

    Any more thoughts from the experts out there in BYC land will be appreciated!

    Thank you everyone!
     
  8. The Accidental Coop

    The Accidental Coop Out Of The Brooder

    Because Mille appears to be perfectly healthy I decided to put Millie back in the coop after dark and removed our roo.

    Will keep our roo separate for a few days and see what happens.
     
  9. The Accidental Coop

    The Accidental Coop Out Of The Brooder

    Update: No change...We separated Drumstick from the hens for 3 days. Once back with the hens Drumstick attacked Millie and ran her off from the other hens . He is back in his separate living quarters .... We will re-home our roo this weekend. [​IMG]
     
  10. The Accidental Coop

    The Accidental Coop Out Of The Brooder

    Our five hens are happier without our roo. Our older hen has started to lay eggs again! We had four eggs today...Up from two to three a day.

    Just curious....Are hens happier without a roo???
     

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