WHAT SHOULD I DO?....evey day another hen is attacked by one of my roosters!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cluck5, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. cluck5

    cluck5 Chirping

    I have 3 roosters and I am not sure which one is doing this. Earlier this week I found my 1 1/2 yr old JG hen badly beaten and bleeding. She was hiding and refused to go into the coop at night. She is now in the coop but wont come out. I thought something got in my yard and attacked her, but yesterday I found another pullet in equally bad shape she also did not go to the coop to roost but hid outside.

    I incubated a few different breeds this spring/summer, they are all fairly close in age except for the last ones I hatched which are about a month younger (so far those ones have not been harmed). I have no idea which rooster did this I am trying to rehome 2 of them. There are 2 JG/EE X and one true Ameraucana rooster. I did see one of the JG X roosters eyeing up my beautiful Blue Marans pullet (she tries to stay close to the Ameraucana rooster as they where hatch mates and so far it seems that the Ameraucana rooster is the alpha, though I have not seen him mount a pullet yet, I have seen one of the JGX's try to mount the blue Marans).

    I am worried that I will loose my pullets due to these attacks, I am away all day at work so I have no way to tell which rooster or roosters are the culprit. I don't want to get rid of (cull) a rooster that is not quilty. I have never seen this before. BTW, the father of the JG/EE X's (is a huge Black JG) he was very possesive of his girls, he would not attack them, though he did start to go after us (he has been rehomed). Anyway, short story made very long......any advice?
  2. kkelsh14

    kkelsh14 In the Brooder

    Oct 10, 2013
    I had an Araucana rooster that was very, very aggressive. He was never aggressive towards me or my husband, or any other human, but literally beat the crap out of our hens. He was about 6 months old, and it got so bad we decided to give him away. Our hens are kept for eggs and as pets, and we couldn't be losing them after all the time and work we put into them, plus we love them! If I were you, I would wait until a day when you're off work, and go out and do yard work, etc. Keep watch and do your best to catch the culprit in the act, because if you happen rehome all but the one that is attacking your hens, you'll have wasted your time; then you'll have to get rid of your last one and if you're needing fertile eggs, that could be a huge setback. It's very tempting to jump the gun when you know your hens are in danger, but the quickest and best way to do something is to do it right the first time. I've learned this the hard way, LOL!!!

    Good luck with your roo problem, hope I helped.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    I would separate the roos away from the pullets when you are not there before you do lose a pullet. Only let them out together when you are there so you can watch what they are doing and intervene if necessary. It could actually be more than one roo doing it, sometimes two or three roos will tag team pullets if they get in competition with each other. If you have a video or game camera etc that you could set up to film while you are gone that is another option, but you still run the risk of one of the pullets getting beaten up while you are not there to separate them.
    2 people like this.
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    It is very likely that the subordinate roosters are gang breeding the pullets whenever they get a chance. I would recommend keeping the dominant rooster and getting rid of the two subordinates. This behavior will not improve as long as they have to 'sneak mate' the hens. It is very possible that two large roosters carrying out such behavior could kill your pullets.
    1 person likes this.
  5. cluck5

    cluck5 Chirping

    Thank you all for your good advice. It makes a lot of sense that the two roos are competing and trying to mate on the fly so to speak while the alpha rooster is occupied. I really thought I would only have to concern myself with the roosters fighting among themselves, not worry about them killing the pullets. I have been wanting to get a game cam and this is certainly a good excuse to do so. I am trying to re-home the two roos (the ones that I think are the culprits). I have thought about eating them, but I don't know if I could do it...well, maybe I'll be eating the roo's for Canadian Thanksgiving instead of turkey this weekend!
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    First bolded area--look at that hen again, it will make the young cockerels much easier to eat. Nothing like getting mad at a rooster to make him taste better!

    Second bolded area--do not breed aggressive roosters, or keep cockerels from an aggressive line. Human aggressive or flock aggressive, doesn't matter. Especially with those of us with mixed breed backyard flocks, temperament is the most important thing for a rooster. That's what you have to cull for first, and cull hard.

    I know you said you're trying to rehome the cockerels, but it sounds like you either need to butcher them or set up a separate pen and get them away from the hens soonest.
    1 person likes this.
  7. When in your words you 'rehomed' the "Huge Black Jersey Giant" rooster you left his helm open for any rooster who wished to claim it, well the three juvenile roosters are vying for the JG's crown, but it is your hens and pullets that are paying the price. It is not at all unusual for a young rooster on the ascendency to hit at or attack a pullet who is slow to recognize the young roosters' new found status.

    This is another of those sad tails of the troubles we owners create by trying to run to small a number of chickens together from many different breeds, and with vastly different personalities and physiques. The human owner may look at this mileage of chicken flesh and see diversity, the chickens look at it and all they
    see are easy targets to boss around, or else fellow flock members that it is best to avoid entirely. No rooster is capable of being a true flock leader until he turns two years old, meaning that he has completed at least one adult molt. You can only judge a rooster's temperament after he has reached adult hood and that arrives at age two. I suspect that your JG already enjoyed that high status, and that your 3 juvenile roosters are trying to fill the JG's shoes in another 18 months or so.

    As proof that what I say has at least a smattering of truth in it, when reading these tails of woe regarding juvenile delinquent roosters, look for the age of the young roosters involved and see if 90% or more of them are not somewhere about 6 to 8 months old with the vast majority at 6 months old. (see Kelsie2290 post above) Instead of thinking of chickens like they are humans, try to think like a chicken thinks, you'll become a better chicken keeper if you do.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  8. cluck5

    cluck5 Chirping

    I have taken your sage advice and have seperated the 2 JG/EE X roos from the rest of the flock. I will butcher them when I have a moment (and learn how to do that). The flock seems to be in harmony, even the youngest members have joined the flock. Though it certainly came at a high price as the second pullet (also a JG/EE X) succumbed to her injuries. I will not make that stupid mistake again.
  9. kkelsh14

    kkelsh14 In the Brooder

    Oct 10, 2013
    So Sorry You Lost One. Sorry AlsoAbout The Caps, Not Sure Why my Phone Does That.
  10. cluck5

    cluck5 Chirping

    Thanks kkelsh14.

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