Will a rooster kill a chicken?

greenthumb

Hatching
8 Years
Jun 13, 2011
3
0
7
So I added a Speckled Sussex rooster and hen into a coop with 3 rir hens tonight and the rooster took after the rir hens, particularly one of them. Is this normal behavior? I'm not much of a rooster lover, but I got him to protect the flock and keep fighting among the hens to a minimum. Now I am starting to wonder if I will have a dead chicken in the morning!
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
699
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
Here is my judge of the pecking order:

1. Normal pecking order is when it looks like someone will kill another one, but they stop with one or two vicious pecks. The lower chicken walks or runs away, unhurt or pride-hurt.

2. Chickens are about to be killed when the aggressor looks like they are going to kill the other chicken and don't back down, chasing them into a corner. The victim hides her face in the corner or up against the fence and won't fight back. Feathers fly out of the rear of the victim as other hens join in the pecking of the one victim. Then I run over and do a rescue. That would have been a dead chicken.
 

greenthumb

Hatching
8 Years
Jun 13, 2011
3
0
7
Thanks, I think it's normal behavior. The rooster would peck a couple of times, pull out a half a dozen feathers and then move on. He did pin a hen down and sit of her for about 30 secs, but was just sitting on her, not pecking at her. I wonder if he's just trying to protect his hen that was added with him. (the new hen and older ones have not even squabble once.
 

Ariel301

Songster
10 Years
Nov 14, 2009
1,355
23
151
Kingman Arizona
Don't have your heart set on him protecting the hens from predators. Not all roosters will do it. And a rooster is no match for any predator, so if he were to go up against something, he would likely end up dead.
 

Smiles-N-Sunshine

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 19, 2008
883
293
286
Palominas, Arizona
I suspect that was the alpha hen, and he was "reminding" her that roos outrank hens.

I hate to give you a "should've" after the fact, but I recommend keeping newcomer(s) separated by poultry wire, so they can see, hear, and smell each other before completely integrating.
 

MANNA-PRO

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