Brahma Roo being pecked by his hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BrahamRoo, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. BrahamRoo

    BrahamRoo Just Hatched

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    Dec 14, 2016
    Hey everyone! ***First time chicken keeper here!!*** I have 9 chickens, 8 months old. One Dark Brahma Roo, 2 Rhode Island Red hens, 5 black Araucana hens, and one Barred Rock hen. We are just starting to get into winter here and I noticed this morning my roo had a bloody waddle, a few feather missing on his neck and some blood stains on his breast feathers. I'm very diligent at watching over my flock and have yet to notice a culprit. This afternoon when I went back out it seemed as though it had dried up and nothing new to report. Watched them for quite a while and again no hens being naughty. I let them be with their evening cracked corn, went back out later on to close up coop and bring in water and noticed the wound had reopened :/ It seems to be just on the one waddle, nothing anywhere else. He is a very docile roo, he backs away to let the hens eat, and he's almost always the last one in the coop at night. I do not let them free roam, was thinking about letting them do it next spring until we had one of our 'rehabilitating' hens get taken out by a rather large red tail hawk. So they will be in their coop from now on. We plan on making a chicken 'breezeway' into another coop area in the spring but for now they have a decent size run and coop. They have 12 nesting boxes(over kill, I know!), two roosts, a large platform where they all seem to roost up at night in the coop. Outside they have two large roosting branches, and old chimney flue tube thing, and a few stones to stand on. Any ideas as to why all of the sudden my roo is being picked on? Should I separate him until he is all healed? What ointment/cream/powder stuff can I put on him to keep them from going after him while he heals (he is a rather large rooster and if I can I'd like to leave him in with his ladies!) Should I add more stuff for them to keep them busy and if so suggestions please! I give them all of our veggies and fruit scraps (the ones that are safe of course) as well as layer pellets, cracked corn, mealworms on occasion, and warm oatmeal on the cold mornings (they love it!) If any of you can think of anything, or need further info please let me know, thank you!
     
  2. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi - I'd definitely put some blu-kote (it's a styptic powder designed to stop bleeding) on it to cover up the fact that he's got blood there. It's also help him heal. If they continue to peck at him, you may have to remove him until he gets healed up, then reintroduce him. Is he the same age as the hens? Older? Younger? Those dynamics will play into how the hens treat him, so just a bit more information is helpful for us to be able to give you good advice. Thanks!
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Feeding layer with all those extra treats can leave them craving protein. Switch to a higher protein feed, something with 18-20% can offset the extra stuff.

    Try to cut out some of the extra stuff that is low in protein and give them stuff to do. A few handfuls of scratch thrown in the bedding can give them something to scratch for, also slabs of hay can keep them busy.

    Keeping them locked inside too long can sometimes cause them to start pecking each other so keep them moving and busy with plenty of room.
     
  4. BrahamRoo

    BrahamRoo Just Hatched

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    Dec 14, 2016
    Peeps61, he is the same age as almost all the hens, with the exception of three, him being about a week older. So not much difference in age. This blue-kote powder, should most feed stores or a tsc carry it? Also from all of my observations all the hens pretty much bow down to him. They'll come over and clean him, get the leftover food from his beak and what not. Oldhenlikesdogs, I was putting some of the leaf litter that I had near the run in the run for them to sift through and keep busy, but as the temps are dropping it is freezing up. The hay is a great idea! Do you know if they start to require more protein in the colder months? I go out at the crack of dawn to open up the coop to the run, sometimes they are still roosted up when I get out there, and they go in themselves at night and once they are roosted for the night that's when I close the coop door. Thank you both for the advise!
     
  5. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi - yes, feed stores or TSC should have the Blu-Kote (it can have other names as well - I've used it as Wonder Dust on my horses and chickens).

    My chickens love scratching through the hay - and the handful of scratch thrown in makes it really fun for them!
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Blu-kote is a spray....Not a powder......


    Nutrition comes to mind and also what you feed is probably not balanced enough? Frost bite?



    Cheers!
     
  7. BrahamRoo

    BrahamRoo Just Hatched

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    True BYC Addict, Thank you for the clarification. I did the research and found the spray. I feed them nutrena country feeds layer pellets, they have access to that all the time, I also mix in a small amount of cracked corn in the feed, they have oyster shells in a separate dish at all times as well. They also get the kitchen scraps. . . veggies, fruits, occasionally bread (and I mean very far and few times they get it) and every few days a few handfuls of mealworms. Any ideas as to what else I could give them and or keep them busy?
     
  8. BrahamRoo

    BrahamRoo Just Hatched

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    Oh and as of now no frostbite, we are in for subzero temps for tomorrow, so will be on the look out for that!
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I have seen my hens peck food off the roosters faces, that is normal.

    When I used to feed layer I would occasionally have troubles with some pecking and egg eating. I have found that layer feed is too low in protein to support backyard hens that will often be fed other things besides the ration. Layer is formulated to be fed as the sole ration.

    Layer has 16% protein. A minimum amount needed by a hen to lay eggs, maintain health but not to put on weight. When fed with extras in the diet birds become deficient. It seems to take a few month to a year after a hen starts laying before you start to see things like egg eating, pecking, and feather eating.

    Since switching to a higher protein ration I haven't seen any of these problems. I always keep a separate bowl of oyster shells available for calcium.

    I think your hens would be better on an All Flock ration or a non medicated grower with 18-20% protein. Your rooster will definitely be better on something else as I've seen most of my roosters fed layer will die before 4 years of age.
     
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    The confusing thing with Chickens....Is that people confuse Balanced nutrition with Proper nutrition for Chickens......

    Balanced feeds are age appropriate Pre-made diets......Chickens must be fed a Balanced diet in order to thrive....Toss in all the scraps/treats/snacks and the proper diet is gone....No longer balanced..........If you have a Rooster in your flock he also has needs to keep him healthy.....Chickens can be easy or as hard as we make them be......I can not tell you how to cure your Birds from the common illness....I can help you to prevent them in the first place........

    Cut out all the fillers and Make Sundays the day to treat the Birds......5% of daily ration, 1 tablespoon per bird ......



    Cheers!
     

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