Why is my rooster getting more aggressive with hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 70monte, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. 70monte

    70monte Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2009
    Aurora, MO
    I have a RIR rooster that is almost three years old. In the last six months he became agressive toward one of my hens, chasing her everytime he went to mate with her and then pecking her head afterwards which caused the other hens to do the same to her. On friday I traded my four black Australorps roosters that were supposed to be hens for three grown laying hens. My rooster is treating these new hens the same way as the one hen I already had.

    What would cause the rooster to treat hens like this? He doesn't treat my three other RIR hens like that. Thanks for any ideas.

  2. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2009
    I am sure others will offer different answers, but in my experience thus far, when one flock member suddenly gets singled out and bullied by a rooster or dominant hen, it is usually because there is something wrong with her, and the others notice the weakness. This may be nature's way of weeding out the weak links. It could be that she just has some minor ailment, from which she would normally recover, or it could be something more serious. In any case, the bullying will not facilitate recovery. I am wondering if maybe you could try removing the rooster from the flock for awhile, and see if the other birds stop picking on her. Or, isolate her for awhile, and watch for signs of some kind of illness, parasite, etc., and see if the other hens stop picking on her (if they do stop, then, frankly, I would get rid of the rooster).

    As for the new hens, it is normal, in my experience, for both roosters and hens to try to drive out new birds. A gradual introduction is more likely to result in successful integration.
  3. 70monte

    70monte Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2009
    Aurora, MO
    There is nothing wrong with the original hen that he and the other hens started harrassing. The only thing she does that may bother them is that she clucks like a chicken who is setting on eggs even though she has never attempted to do so. Other than that, she acts normal.

  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Whatever the cause he'd be gone if he were mine. Human aggressive or hen aggressive roosters have no viable position in the flock. There are too many good roosters looking for homes to tolerate such actions. JMO.
  5. IdaArchae

    IdaArchae Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 17, 2012
    SE Idaho
    Hi. I am new to chickens just this summer. We ended up with two roosters, who get along fine with each other, and are not human aggressive. However, they are both really tyranical to all my hens, in my opinion. Since I have never kept chickens before, I do not know what is normal. It seems they are double teaming a hen at times, and grab her by the head feathers. The hens aren't squatting for them, these appear to be sneak attacks. The roos are only about 7 months. Will they calm down, or is this just them needing to be rehomed apart from each other? These are gorgeous birds, and I currently have them listed for sale.
  6. trishkasser

    trishkasser Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 2, 2013
    I am having this issue now, and am baffled. The rooster picks on one sweet gal who has been with them for 3-4 month's...we thought her eye had been pecked out but all is good and we are keeping her separate. We had another hen pick on her also....she plucked out a few feathers and ATE them....really? I am fairly new to chicken raising, but this is odd.

    We had one of our originals get pecked so bad that we thought her comb had been removed...but she healed up great and is now back with the gang and all seems well.

    We now have the feather eater and the poor gal separated in dog cages, the rooster I fear may be next, and we hope to maybe have some luck putting all the girls back together again without the rooster and see what happens.


    Any other advice would be great!
  7. Kadjain

    Kadjain Chillin' With My Peeps

  8. Kadjain

    Kadjain Chillin' With My Peeps

    A lot of times young roosters act out. Some more than others. I eat them all and only keep the best behaving cockerels.
  9. TJordan

    TJordan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2014
    Lower Alabama

    If my rooster keeps being mean to my girls he may be dinner.... I just noticed that he's ripped a little of one hens comb right at the base... Poor girl...

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