I have 20 hens and one rooster that were hatched on September 15th, 2008. 3 Barred Rocks, 3 Black Austalorps, 3 Delewares, 3 Golden Laced Wyandotte (one of which is the Roo), 3 RIR, 3 NHR, and 3 Silver Laced Wyandotte, They are housed in a 10x12 coop with 8' high walls and plenty of 2x4 roosting space. The run is 12x36 ft. Two big windows and plenty of ventilation in the roof eaves. Saw my first eggs this past weekend (~ February 1st, 2009) so I switched them to 50% Purina Layena and 50% Purina Scratch grains. Plenty of fresh water. They have a 60w compact fluorescent red light in the coop 24 hours per day. The light is shaded and points out the window. I did this to make sure the power to the water bowl heater is functioning. Up until the past two days I have had ZERO problems with them. No health issues, eveyone was getting along just fine. Now since the eggs started coming the rooster is having a heck of a time with all the hens pulling the feathers out of both sides of his neck. They haven't broken the skin but you can see the area is quite irritated. Based on several posts I've read I have tried treating the plucked area with "Bag Balm" on the understanding that it wouldn't taste good to the hens and would help soothe the irritation. To the contrary the hens seem to enjoy the taste and came back for more. Today I stopped and purchased BlueKote and Pine Tar. I sprayed the BlueKote and allowed it to dry and then applied a generous amount of Pine Tar. The Roo doesn't like the feeling of the tar and shakes it head like my dogs after they've had their ears cleaned! Anyway, same results. All the hens don't seemed bothered by the Pine Tar and continue to harass him. The dumb cluck doesn't even try to stop them. At this point I am assuming the girls are giving him a tough time to see what he's made of and if he is suited to act as their mate. For this reason I have been reluctant to isolate him. I have observed him mounting several of the hens. I also purchased a bag of cat food that I'm throwing a few handfuls at a time out in the run to boost their protein intake. I suppose I'm looking for reassurance from everyone that what I'm doing is appropriate and I'm not overlooking something. I would hate to have to re-home the Roo as I've come to enjoy his moring wake-up call at 0430. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.