I'm feeling bad. Really guilty and bad. This morning I went out to the hen house to let the birds out, feed and water them. I always open up the doors to let them into the outdoor pen first and I noticed that Cockzilla didn't come out.
I went into the hen house and saw him cowering in the corner on the floor. He wouldn't move when I tried to shoosh him out, so I pick him up. He was completely battered and bloody. All his new feathers were picked out, one eye swollen closed, covered in blood and I think he may have a broken wing - he looked half dead. I'm almost crying as I'm writing this as I feel so guilty for putting him and Lucky together again. I never would have thought that they would fight like that at night in the dark. I assumed that once Lucky had asserted his dominance yesterday while they outside that would be it - chickens working things out themselves.
I can only feel for poor Cockzilla - first losing his number one status somehow over the winter, and then having to suffer being beaten up. I know it is farm life and the animals have to make their own pecking order - it is not up to us to decide just because we may favour one over the other - but I hate to see an animal hurt or suffering.
He is now back in the large brooder box in the garage. He was drinking when I left for work this morning. I don't know what we'll do... He can't go back to the henhouse, perhaps the most humane thing is to cull him. I hate the thought as I really like him,. I'm very sad.
The lesson I've learned is only one rooster in the flock.