Why does my cockerel attack his hens when I hold them?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SarahMay, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. SarahMay

    SarahMay Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 29, 2014
    Ok, third time this has happened with 3 different hens now. When I am holding one of the girls, he attacks them! Once he grabbed a hen by the neck. Tonight I just released a hen and the moment after she was on the ground (I was crouched) he pecked her. What the heck is he thinking? He normally does not peck his girls.
    Don't know if it makes any difference, I have him and his 4 girls and one other rooster that is a few weeks older and from a different "group" that was mostly roosters and now he just has 2 hens. This rooster has been crowing for the last week or so and has a few hens of his own. He will be gone soon, not that it should matter to this other cockerel.
    Any insight appreciated.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Party on Wayne, Party on Garth Premium Member

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    I would assume he sees you as an ally and is helping you punish a hen. When roosters form bonds with other roosters they will often work together. They will mate one after another on the same hen and they will fight together. So he's backing you up would be my guess, but that also means that he doesn't see you as dominant and could turn on you at some point so it's probably good you are getting rid of him.
     
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  3. SarahMay

    SarahMay Out Of The Brooder

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    I thought too that maybe because the hens were a bit upset I was holding them, the cockerel thought I was "attacking" the hens and he wanted to help me attack them... gosh, what a silly bird. I thought he liked his girls but then if I hold the hens he wants to fight them lol.
    I am keeping this cockerel for now, it is the older rooster that will be gone soon (crooked beak).
    I do think this cockerel probably sees me as an equal. He was handled a lot as a chick.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Party on Wayne, Party on Garth Premium Member

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    I guess I misread who was going. It will be interesting to see how he turns out. Sometimes when they are young they just make bad decisions and choices because they are all hormones and just react to the situations.
     

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