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Roosters two favorite hens are overbred, get more or wait it out?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have one beardless Silkie roo, and five bantam hens, one old Ameraucana hen, (and an Ancona hen inside for bumble foot recovery). My Silkie roo is a good boy and protects the hens, but his two favorites are getting overbred. They have been cooped up in a 6'by 4' coop, with an insulated 2.5 by 3.5 attachment in case they feel chilly, and their coop run is 6' by 10. Now that the weather is nice, they are allowed to free range outside of the run for 3 - 6 hours a day, nine acre property with three acre cleared.

The roo has been overbreeding the other Silkie and a docile Sebright, he has trouble catching the other hens as regularly, and the OEGB is too tiny for him to have an easy time of it, though he manages ( the old Ameraucana is huge, he leaves her alone for the most part)

Should the free ranging give the hens enough space now? The two favorites are usually near by, so still are getting a bit much attention. I am hoping their feathers will grow back soon when they go into molt.

Should I get two more hens? And if he doesn't like the Ameraucana as much, should I only get bantams or smaller hens? He is white, and I heard chickens prefer the same breed or color if not raised in the same batch. Maybe get him light small hens, or should I just wait to see if free ranging helps?
post #2 of 5

You may want to invest in a couple of hen saddles for the overbred girls - this, combined with the free ranging, may help to alleviate the issue.  Obtaining additional birds would also help, if you have the space to add to the flock at this time, but keep in mind that if you do a good quarantine you will still be 30+ days out from this being an improvement.

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #3 of 5
Since you are already likely having behavioral issues due to limited coop space, I don't believe adding more birds is the answer unless you expand the coop and run size, and doing that might solve the issue without any more more hens being added...
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepBeep View Post

Since you are already likely having behavioral issues due to limited coop space, I don't believe adding more birds is the answer unless you expand the coop and run size, and doing that might solve the issue without any more more hens being added...

Ditto Dat^^^

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. What coop/run space would you suggest for 8 chickens? We have a large duck pen and run that used to house the chickens, but we keep them separate because the ducks make a mess( and the coop part is getting old and dilapidated with the woods growing in around it, so the two female ducks get to have it all to themselves to reduce wear and tear).

Looking into chicken saddles, since even with lots of space these two hens won't run away from the rooster at all, and the Silkie hen follows the roo everywhere.
Edited by Berkshirechick - 3/12/16 at 5:02pm
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