Do roos get picked on by hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JusticeFamilyFarm, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. JusticeFamilyFarm

    JusticeFamilyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2011
    Southern California
    I have one roo and 12 hens, all about the same age (9-10months). Some of my hens have bareback patches, which I suspect is from the roo doing his business. However, my roo is also completely bare backed, and I don't know why this would be. I have seen some of the girls peck a feather off, but this was once he was pretty bare. Do you think they pecked off all his back feathers? Here's a pic so you can see exactly what I mean... Thanks for looking!
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  2. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    I dont know if this could be cause by parasites, but I do know that I have 1 hen that would attack 1 of my roos if she could get to him. I keep my breeds separated in different dog kennels (minimum 6' x 10') and alternate their free-ranging days. It never fails that when my BO's are out, one of the hens will hang around the EE/Ameracuana pen & antagonize one of the roosters in there! They both fluff out their feathers & start cackling at each other while SHE tries to attack HIM through the fence!
     
  3. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps


    You have a feather eater. You can try extra protien, like boiled eggs, or dry catfood. Just don't overdo it. Too much is as bad as not enough. In the meantime, Blucoat from the feed store, or an anti peck spray from a pet store will protct the bare spots. Heck, even Noxema Face Cream, or a generic from a discount store like Walmart will stop the pecking. You will need to reapply as needed, until the protien gets the main cause under control. Good luck..........Pop
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Check list.

    1. mites or lice
    2. protein deficiency
    3. nasty head hen
    4. over crowding and boredom

    Not necessarily in any order. Work through them all, that's about all I can tell you, for a quick response.

    edit: Pop is right, of course. Just do check all of the above.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    The sleekest most beautiful hen/hens in your flock are feather pickers, eaters. Possible reasons have been given - a cure would be pinless peepers applied to the culprits.
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Precisely!!! They are the pickers, not the pick-ees. Plus, the super protein they've been ingesting, through feather eating, makes their own feathers glossy and pristine. Dead give away.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  7. JusticeFamilyFarm

    JusticeFamilyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    188
    1
    91
    May 27, 2011
    Southern California
    Thank you so much for the responses! I had thought that it may be feather picking, but I guess I thought since he's the "big bad boy" he wouldn't be getting picked...or pecked...on. As far as the list from Fred's Hens- I don't think it's overcrowding/boredom, as they do free-range quite a bit, and I looked over the hens that don't mind me holding them and didn't see any lice/mites/etc. So, I guess it's protein or a mean girl. They get scrambled eggs, but not super often, so I guess I'll need to try more eggs or the cat food, as suggested. Are the pieces in cat food small enough for them? Any suggested brands? I'll also pick up the blucote or anti-peck spray. Thanks so much, again! Oh, and sourland- what is a pinless peeper?
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    In the end, you may find that there are one or two of the birds that simply will not be deterred. They've learned a really bad habit. Even increasing the over all flock protein may not solve the issue in any meaningful way. There simply are birds that cannot be kept in the flock because of their bad behavior. I've seen feather eaters munch on their flock mates on the roost. Those birds get culled. Folks here on BYC have pretty much come to accept the fact that no bad rooster is worth keeping. So too, it does dawn on folks that some hens are also not worth keeping. For a few reasons, such as being neurotic, overly submissive and being the punching bag of the pecking order, an incorrigible egg eater, etc, yes, some hens have to be culled for the betterment of the flock.

    Try the BlueCote. Absolutely. Identify the culprit(s). They'll be easy to spot.
     

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