Will A Hen Fight A Rooster And Why – A Girl Stands Her Ground

Both hens and roosters will fight, and often, they will fight with each other as well. Chicken keepers often notice squabbles between hens and roosters, causing them to become concerned. Wil a hen fight a rooster, and why?

A hen will fight a rooster when there is a challenge or change to their pecking order. When they become crowded, hens will also fight roosters. Other reasons are food and water competition when hens are broody or have chicks. Incorrect conditions, predators, and travel stress also cause fighting.

Hens will stand their ground against roosters for several different reasons. Want to learn all about it? Read more with us as we go through all the main reasons why a hen might pick a fight with a rooster!

Will Hens Fight A Rooster?

Both roosters and hens will fight, sometimes with each other. The most common reason why a hen would fight a rooster is that a pecking order needs to be established.

Chicken owners will often see fights happening in the flock between hens and roosters, especially while young chickens are still growing up and trying to find their place.

Hens Will Fight Roosters Due To A Changed Pecking Order

The harshest battles will occur when a new chicken, or a group of new chickens, are introduced to your existing flock.

This will undoubtedly upset and change the pecking order, which will need to be re-established by your chickens.

There could be grave consequences if the new chickens are younger or substantially outnumbered by the existing flock. Chickens have the tendency to gang up on any chicken that is bleeding.

The chickens will keep bleeding while the other chickens keep pecking at their wound. If you do not separate the wounded chicken from the flock, it may even be pecked to death by the others.

The other chickens can end up eating the chickens, which is not a pretty sight. Luckily, you can do your part to prevent these civil wars by gradually introducing any new chickens to existing chickens.

The most common method would be to fence off a small area inside your chicken pen, so every chicken can meet each other and get rid of any aggression without causing any physical harm to the new chickens.

After a couple of days, you can then remove the fence and allow them to mingle.

However, you should always keep a close eye on them and remove any bleeding chickens before they get killed. After the chicken have been nursed back to health, you can try to ease them back into the flock for a second time.

Hens Will Fight Roosters Due To Flock Stress Factors

There are several types of stress that can occur in flocks of chickens, and you can manage all of them.

Some of the most popular reasons for stress can be due to chickens being too hot or too cold and being unable to find shelter.

Flocks who are heat-stressed will reduce their feed intake to minimalize how much heat is generated from energy and digestion. Chickens may consume up to 10-20% less feed during the warm summer months compared to winter and fall.

Another common reason behind flock stress could become more prominent during the winter times, as their living conditions may become dirty and wet.

Muddy ground along with wet litter in a chicken coup can all contribute to stress in the flock, and hens will start to get territorial, attacking roosters. If your chicken coup is in an unsafe location, predators may begin to snoop around.

Flocks will get easily stressed if foxes or other predators prowl around their coop during the night, and they can even rob the hens of their eggs and their sleep.

Hens may get moody and attack roosters and any other chickens in the coop.

Furthermore, overcrowded and travel-stressed chickens may also fight one another, as even the most docile hens will become frustrated when confined in too small spaces together. They will fight each other and will not hesitate to fight a rooster as well!

A Hen Will Fight A Rooster To Compete Over Food And Water

Often, chickens are not provided with enough food and water resources, causing them to compete.

Hens, typically broody hens or hens with young chicks, may attack a rooster at feeding times, as they need to provide for themselves and their young as well as they can.

However, roosters are usually at the top of the pecking order, which could result in some chickens, including mother hens, not getting enough food for themselves or for their young.

Are Chickens Fighting A Rooster Really A Mother Rooster?

Although broody hens are not regarded as mother hens, they will have the natural desire to become mother hens. Broody hens will lay their eggs and become highly territorial around their nesting boxes.

Some chicken breeds will be more likely to be broody, such as Buff Orpingtons, Silkies, and Cochins.

Even if a rooster is going about their day, if they become too close to a nesting box, a broody hen will attack them, showing no mercy.

This is just normal broody hen behaviour, and there is usually nothing to be concerned about.

Hens Will Young Chicks Will Fight Roosters

Mother hens will always be highly protective of their young, and they will show signs of aggression towards chicks of another mother, other mother hens, and roosters.

The hens will peck at roosters if they feed or walk too close to their chicks, and often, roosters will try to strike back. However, they will back off quite quickly, giving the mother hens and their offspring the space they need.

How Do You Stop A Hen From Pecking Your Rooster?

Usually, mother hens should be kept separate from the rest of the flock, as the fights could soon become a bloodbath. However, if the fights only occasionally occur, you don’t have to be too worried to separate the mother hen from the flock, as her aggressive behaviour towards a rooster is a natural instinct.

Should I Let My Hens Fight The Rooster?

It would be good if you kept in mind that not all flock violence will need your intervention. Occasional fights between hens and roosters are normal, but if a hen becomes severely injured, she will require your help and attention.

Fights between hens and roosters will rarely continue for more than a few minutes, and they won’t do any damage, so when it does, you will need to do your best to stop it.


Mother hens will always fight roosters, and it is up to you to examine the situation. Some hens may not even be mother hens but still, pick fights with roosters. Chickens fighting can always occur, and it is entirely normal behaviour, but you should know when it worsens to the point where you need to step in.