Bachelor Pad

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicks Galore3, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    My rooster isn't being nice to my girls, and several of them have torn/missing feathers and one is almost all the way bald on her back. I've tried making aprons/saddles for them but Mr. Darcy (rooster) freaks out and attacks them off. I'm thinking of making him is own special coop by sectioning off part of the bigger coop. Will seeing the girls but not able to get to them stress him out to much? Do I keep him in there during the night/morning and let him free range with everybody else?
     
  2. Themehmeh

    Themehmeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can always try a separate run for him, but he would probably not be very happy. He's a chicken, so he's not bright and I'm probably exaggerating his thought processes in my head. However, if he spends all his time trying to touch the hens inappropriately and suddenly can't do so, I don't imagine he's happy.

    Depending on how you're choosing to keep your flock and how much you love him, I think I would look into butchering him or giving him away to someone with a larger flock. Larger flock means more hens and less individual harassment. You're going to put yourself through a ton more work just keeping him separate from the hens.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  3. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    Yeah, I've thought about that. It would have to be butchering though - has a little bit of an attitude problem toward humans too. I really should have butchered him earlier on. I guess that means more room for new chicks. [​IMG] I guess I'll see how it goes for a little bit and see how he reacts.
     
  4. Klutch

    Klutch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Put him on leash.
     
  5. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    I just had a thought - I am thinking about getting more chickens this spring...maybe that will help with the over-mating problem. I have 15 hens right now.
     
  6. Themehmeh

    Themehmeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    15 is already on the high side for a single rooster. He's the only one? He must be a meanie.

    But I've only ever known very docile roosters.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  7. piglett

    piglett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i think you need more hens

    a good rooster can cover 10/12 girls no problem

    if you have less than that we may have found the problem
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    How old are they, the rooster and the hens? That kind of barebacked problem is much more prevalent with adolescents than mature chickens. Many breeders keep one rooster with one or two hens the entire breeding season and don’t have those problems, but their secret is they use mature birds that have their hormones under control, not juveniles.

    That 10 to 1 ratio comes from the commercial hatchery industry when they use the pen breeding system. They have learned that is the ratio they need to assure fertility in the pen breeding system. It has nothing to do with roosters fighting or hens going barebacked. It makes a good flock but unless you are keeping something like 20 roosters with 200 hens in the same pen and your goal is fertile hatching eggs, it doesn’t have much meaning for you. As you have noticed, even the 15 to 1 does not prevent barebacked hens. Some people have had that problem with more than 20 hens. In other than the pen breeding system, one reasonably young active rooster ranging with his flock normally has no problem keeping 15 to 20 or even more hens fertile. That’s not the pen breeding system.

    One thing I’ve noticed with my flock is that when a hen goes barebacked, she often has brittle feathers. It’s genetic. The feathers are so brittle they break easily. It’s not always the case, just sometimes. It’s not that unusual for a hen to occasionally lose a few feathers during a mating. That’s not a problem. But when she loses enough that she is in danger of being cut by the rooster’s claws, it can be very serious.

    It is possible that the rooster is rough or just has bad technique and needs to go. I’m not looking at the, you are.

    With all that said, if he is a threat to you or yours, that’s not acceptable to me. If he is young you may be able to correct his attitude by showing him that you are the boss. Occasionally teenagers try things to see if they can get away with it and to find out what the boundaries are. If you can set those boundaries they may learn. But if he is a threat, there are too many good roosters out there to keep a bad one.

    You can try that bachelor pen. Will he like it? No, but so what. That may be his only chance for a long life. Especially if the problem is that they are young and have not yet learned self-control or the proper technique, that may give him and the pullets enough time to mature.

    Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    He is 11 months old. The one hen with a bare back is a gold star, and all my gold stars do seem to have bad feathers. I am torn about what to do - I don't want a mean rooster but even if he is mean, I can't imagine NOT having him.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If he has an attitude problem, and is tearing up the girls, there's no reason to keep him IMO. If you're getting new chicks, you might get an Oops rooster, or you could get an intentional rooster. Roosters are pretty easy to come by--in a few months folks will be begging someone to take their Oops birds. Most of those will be perfectly nice roosters, with no bad attitude.
     

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