Will a rooster kill a chicken?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by greenthumb, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. greenthumb

    greenthumb New Egg

    Jun 13, 2011
    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!
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    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.
  3. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
  4. greenthumb

    greenthumb New Egg

    Jun 13, 2011
    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.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Quote:Sounds like mating.
  6. California_Redneck

    California_Redneck Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:Sounds like mating.


    Sounds like the roo is just asserting himself as the Alpha, but I would still keep an eye on him until everyone settles down.
  7. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    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.
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Sounds like mating.

    x 3
  9. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2008
    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.

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