I'm dealing with a couple issues right now, and I'd love some advice!
I've got 18 hens and 1 rooster. I had two roosters until about 2 months ago, when the hens started balding badly and showing injuries from mating and the 2nd rooster started showing aggression towards me. Now that I've only got one rooster the hens are starting to regrow feathers and heal, but his mating seems to be slowing the regrowth and causing some injuries on areas of bare skin. I'm thinking of separating him to give the hens a chance to heal and grow their feathers back. In addition to their backs going bald they are also losing feathers and getting cut on the top of their wings, so I'm not sure aprons will help.
This rooster also lost a lot of feathers around his neck mid-winter and they have been VERY slow growing back. I thought perhaps he was losing them fighting with the other roo, but now he's losing feather above his tail and around his vent as well. I've checked him over carefully the last few nights but see no signs of mites/lice, very few pin feathers either. None of my hens are losing feathers around their vents. Is there something else I should be looking for for a pest or condition? Or just separate him and up the protein for feather growth?
One of my older hens has also been pulling the new feather growth, and generally attacking, most of the other hens. She's been eating the feathers. I am thinking about separating her as well for a bit to see if she'll calm down, or just re-homing her.
I've also got 4 white leghorns, who are fairly small compared to my other birds and are sustaining injuries, both from mating and from the other hens. I'm planning moving them to another pen, letting them heal then finding new homes for them once they've feathered out again. The size difference between them and my rooster (a BCM) just seems too great. Plus they are too flighty for my preference, most of my other birds have much calmer personalities.
Can I put the mean hen with the rooster or will he cause too much mating damage? She's currently not one of his favorites (based on the amount of feathers she has), but I've never kept a roo with just one hen. If I can't put her with the roo I'll need to come up with some other containment system since my pens will all be full at that point. How much room does one hen need for temporary confinement?
I'd love your advice and/or thoughts!