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Aggressive Mating

Aggressive Rooster

While mating, sometimes certain roosters can get a bit rough with the hens. Sometimes it may just be one of the hens, or it could be all of the hens. Induced injuries may initially appear superficial, with hens missing several feathers from her head or back areas. However, once the feathers are missing, it is only a mater of time until the rooster pulls off skin layers. Once the hen's skin is missing, her inner body organs and tissue are exposed, which will attract other flock members to start pecking the hen in this vulnerable and exposed area. Without quick intervention and isolation of the hen from the flock, she will be at risk of not only being pecked to death, but also of secondary bacterial infections.


Bald spots on head, back or vent
Feather loss
Skin and possibly muscle damage
A cockerel excessively mating a hen


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam


Assess damageAlthough it might be a bit horrific to look at, take a moment to thoroughly look over the wound.
Chicken saddlePurchase a chicken saddle (or apron) to help provide the hen some protection
ManagementSeparate the rooster from the hen



Depends on the severity of the wound and the extent of bacterial contamination

Scientific References

Good Overviews


Age Range

Adult hens are most at risk.

Risk Factors

  • Aggressive roosters
  • Low hens to rooster ratios