Any suggestions for preventing bare backs on hens?


10 Years
Jan 14, 2010
I have four hens and one rooster who keeps pulling the feathers out of the backs of three of the girls in his "excitement"... I've tried making saddles for the hens but all of them flapped it off within a day (and, it was a hassle putting them on to begin with)! Can I cut the roo's toenails? How far up can I cut without drawing blood? Does anybody have any other suggestions for this problem. Thanks ....

First time poster but long time peruser!
How large is the run that they're all in. If there were more space, then maybe the ladies could get away from his advances once in a while. Another option would be to get more hens (but only if you have the space).
They free range in the back yard, about an acre, so there is plenty of space. I definitely plan to get more, I've heard 10 hens to one rooster is a good ratio so I'm going to expand but until the new chicks get big enough to mix in what can I do?
hmmm not sure about how far you could cut the toe nails, but it is old is the rooster? is it his toe nails or spurs? larger run will not get the hens away from him....he is very persistant....maybe more hens if you have room like the person before me said.
If he's a young rooster, he may grow out of it as he matures. If not, you might consider a different rooster. Some rooster are easier on hens than others.
As was already mentioned, if you have plenty of space, you can try getting more hens...a 10:1 ratio is more appropriate.
You can also keep your rooster in his own area, and only allow them together when freeranging or for a short period confined to get fertilized eggs.
You can buy more professionally made saddles (sold her on BYC) that will stay on a lot better (no offense implied to the ones you made of course).
If you don't need fertilized eggs, you can get rid of your rooster.
That's pretty much all of your options. Good luck to you and your hens!
I have HenSaver saddles for my hens and they work great! They stay on very well and have detachable shoulder pads which are a life saver. Their feathers have finally growing back. I agree with everyone that this is a perfect excuse to get more hens!
Thanks for the suggestions! He's less than a year old, so still pretty young. I've tried giving him away without luck. I might try those hen savers... I looked at them but went with the homemade kind to save some dough... Saved the dough, didn't save the hens so maybe it's time to turn to the pros!
I have one rooster with 23 hens and he has the feathers off the backs of the popular girls. They free range all day so I don't think space is the issue or the number of hens. I did get some hen savers and they have stayed on pretty good. Occasionally, one comes off but for the most part they work great and all the feathers have come back in.
I have one roo to 9 hens. Some still have bare backs, I don't know if they are his favorites or it then can't run as fast.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom