Why Roosters Attack Hens & How To Deal With It

Ever been to a farm, walked past the coop, and seen a rooster chasing a hen with its wings spread wide, lunging at her with wild intensity? Sure you have. But why do roosters feel the need to attack their hens in such an alarming manner? The answer may surprise—or even amuse—you! As it turns out, there’s actually more to this seemingly strange behavior than meets the eye. Keep reading for our entertaining take on what drives certain roosters to dominate their feathered female counterparts physically.


Causes of Rooster Aggression To Hens (And Others!)

When it comes to understanding the causes of rooster aggression, there’s more than meets the eye.


Roosters are naturally territorial creatures and can be quick to flare up if they feel their space is being encroached upon. But beyond the typical display of one rooster trying to assert dominance over another to protect his hens and chicks, there are a few other factors that can contribute to aggressive behavior in chickens.

Change in their Environment

Roosters may become agitated when they sense danger or changes in their environment due to their heightened senses – like loud noises to sudden movements.

Even just a slight change in routine can cause them to panic and act aggressively toward other chickens or even humans.


Additionally, roosters are more likely to become more assertive during mating season as they try to attract mates, leading them into direct competition with other males.

The answer to “why is my rooster picking on one hen?” has to do with this as well. It is simply because the rooster is fond of that particular lady chicken!

It’s also been suggested by some studies that too much testosterone may lead male chickens into bouts of aggression as well.

So while territoriality is certainly a factor when it comes to rooster aggression, it’s important not to forget all the other potential triggers (and there are a lot of them!) that can lead these majestic birds into assertive displays of dominance.

If you want to prevent roosters from hurting hens,
the best way is to make sure that they don't get too close to each other.

How To Stop Roosters From Attacking Hens

If you want to prevent roosters from hurting hens, the best way is to make sure that they don’t get too close to each other. Provide enough space in your chicken coop or run; build separate areas for them, and if possible, provide a distraction such as a toy or scratching post.

Also, be diligent in monitoring their behavior and intervene when necessary. Keep aggressive roosters away from more timid hens. 

Be sure to provide plenty of nutritious food and fresh water, so they don’t become overly stressed or frustrated.

Finally, it’s important to check in regularly on the flock and watch for any signs of distress or injury since roosters can even kill hens occasionally. Taking these steps can help you keep your hens safe from potential harm caused by roosters.

Helping A Healed Hen Re-Integrate Into the Flock After An Attack

After an attack on a chickens, it can be difficult to help the hen that was injured re-integrate into her group.

It is essential to ensure that she receives adequate care during her recovery and that she is treated with respect when the time comes for her to re-enter the flock. The key to helping a healed hen transition back into a healthy flock is understanding how the birds interact before the attack. 

Providing the hen a safe space away from other birds until she becomes strong enough physically and emotionally can minimize potential conflicts with other chickens as she adjusts to being with the flock again. It also helps if she has companions while she heals. This allows her to learn behaviors, form relationships, and find security in numbers. 

Finally, observing behavior can be extremely helpful when helping a hen re-integrate after an attack. Look for signs of stress so that interventions can be made if necessary.

By following these steps and providing kindness and patience, you can create a supportive environment and help with a successful transition after an attack.


So, now you know – there are logical explanations for why roosters attack hens! It’s not because they’re mean or vicious. It’s simply their way of asserting dominance and ensuring that the flock stays together (and sometimes, it’s even because romance is in the air!). 

If your rooster is picking on one hen, don’t worry – after giving her some time away from the rooster, there are things you can do to help her feel safe and re-integrate into the flock.

And finally, if you’re wondering if a rooster will kill a hen, the answer is usually no. Although roosters can be aggressive and may peck at hens from time to time, they rarely cause any serious harm.

Photo by Remy Baudouin on Unsplash