Rooster Turns On His Hen & Snake Repellent…

Free Ranging and Training Chickens...

“I always enjoy receiving and reading your weekly newsletter, so thank you very much for that.

I actually have two questions. First, what would make a rooster turn on a hen? We have a mixed bagged of 14 chickens of varying ages and 2 roosters. Our older rooster has turned on an older chicken. He will not let her eat with them and does not come to protect her as he does all the other chickens from the younger rooster. She doesn’t seem to have lost her pecking status among the chickens though. Has he “sacrificed” her to the young guy or is there some other reason this would happen?

Secondly, as we keep digging out from the snow (I live in Maryland, lots of snow this year) I keep dreaming of spring. while I enjoy this time of snake hibernation, I am wondering what I can do, if anything, to deter the black snakes from the chicken house this next season. As well, are there any good snake catching gizmos other than me with the pool net and a stick having a heart attack as I run down the road to get him as far away from us as possible before he gets out. I collect the eggs often during the day, but I also caught a lot of snakes.

The kids won’t even go in the house to collect eggs for this reason. I know it is nature and good to keep the mice at a minimum, if they went for the mice and not the eggs. Any suggestions?” ~ Shelley Hutchinson


I so enjoyed your description on your current snake catching system I just had to answer your questions.

So let’s start with the first question.

I’m not personally familiar with a rooster turning on a hen but there are definite relational elements between chickens.

It put me in mind of an older couple I know.

These were the people who were so in love in their younger years, neither could do any wrong in the eyes of their beloved. Somehow, as they’ve gotten older, they’ve gotten cranky! It’s not uncommon for them to bicker constantly. I wonder, if he had a house full of wives, would he “turn” on her as well?

Anyway Shelley, as long as he’s not harming her, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

If she does lose her place in the pecking order and becomes a victim of bullying from the other hens, you may need to separate her or even cull her from your flock.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Regarding your second question, there are in fact snake repellents available on line.

As luck would have it, we also own a termite and pest control company.

My husband recommends Dr. Ts Snake-A-Way granular repellent. We have a lot of snakes in our area also and he says it’s the best available.

The disadvantage is that you need to keep this product away from your chickens and other animals. Follow label instructions carefully.

There are also electronic snake repellents available although we don’t have any personal experience with them.

The devise emits a pulsing vibration that is intended to scare the snake away.

There are also home made repellent recipes available on the web, again, no experience with these.

Best of luck to you Shelley, I hope this has been helpful.

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