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Roosters Picking On Two Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Knucker Hatch Farms, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. Knucker Hatch Farms

    Knucker Hatch Farms In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I have three 1 1/2 year old hens that are the survivors of a coyote attack months ago. In the meantime, one of those hens went broody and sat on eggs that matured nicely into four roosters and five additional hens. The new hatch is now laying and the roosters have matured.

    All free range the entire day, and we have had no problems until about two weeks ago when two the older hens (the mamas of the new hatch) appear to have been ousted from the group by the roosters. The hens are afraid to leave the coop, and we have watched extremely odd behavior of the roosters basically attacking these two hens. At this point, they are looking very beat up, and they live in voluntary seclusion in the coop all day on the roosts.

    One rooster has been given away for processing, and we intend to process two more, but I wonder if I will need to process all three remaining roosters because of this odd behavior. Has anyone encountered this "gang" approach? Should I process two more and then see how it goes with the last rooster? The hens could care less, it is the roosters that do not want these two ladies to be in their sight.

    Warm Regards,

    Mama Knucker Hatch

  2. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    You should have a ratio of 1 rooster to 10 hens a ratio lower than this can result in allot of problems.

  3. Chickenfortress

    Chickenfortress Songster

    May 8, 2008
    I would think that the hens have proven their value to you. In a dissimilar fashion, the roosters are too. I would keep one, and turn the rest to meat. Then I would seclude the remaining rooster for a week or so, so it loses its position, and the hens find their rightful place in the flock. When the rooster goes back, he will have to deal with pecking order anew. If he still mistreats his mommas, in the pot he goes.

    Roosters are a dime a dozen, and frequently much cheaper. There is no reason to put up with bad behavior.

    On another note, a new rooster brings new genetics/ prevents inbreeding.
  4. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    I have one rooster named Slyvester and there is one hen that he picks on (flogs and pecks her relentlessly if he can).
    They now free range and this hen runs from him and as long as she runs he doesn't attack but when they are confined to their run and coop he just attacks until he wears himself out.
    I can tell you this hen was top chicken in the flock of about 26 chickens and she use to pick on Slyvester when Foghorn my other rooster was living (as Foghorn was the dominant rooster). I think mine is a case of Sylvester becoming the dominant rooster and he remembers the treatment he received from her and now he is getting his revenge (actually making sure she doesn't try to retrun to the top). Foghorn would not let Slyvester mate with any hen.
    Slyvester is not going anywhere he is too much of a pet so I just have to work with the situation. Like I said it works now that they get to free range but when spring comes around I put the hen in a dog cage one day and Slyvester the next. what I don't do for my chickens.
  5. Knucker Hatch Farms

    Knucker Hatch Farms In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Thank you all for your advice. I really appreciate it. I value the protection a rooster has on his flock, so I would cringe to get rid of all three boys.

    I really like the idea of keeping the last man standing in the coop for a week until the pecking order is redistributed. I will try that first. But I love those two girls more. I want to see only chicken dances, no chicken attacks. These girls were at the top of the pecking order too, and let the boys have it when they were younger.

    Warm Regards,

    Mama Knucker Hatch
  6. newchickmom

    newchickmom Songster

    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    When I had extra roosters from a straight run purchase, the 8 young boys were really rough with all the hens, younger 6 and older 20. I watched them for a while to see who was the best with the hens and narrowed it down to 3.
    I seperated the other roosters and processed them. After watching the remaining roosters for another couple of weeks, I decided George was the one I would be keeping. He is not aggressive with me or the girls. He is actually rather gentle with them. He also watches out for them and will herd them back closer to the coop if they wander to far.

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