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Feather damage from the roo or the ladies??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by I have WHAT in my yard?, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    I have 20 birds in the flock right now, 19 ladies and my Romeo. I have noticed a marked difference in the backs of the ladies which seems to depend on the breed?? Is that possble that some breeds' feathers break ore easily under the roo's feet? I keep his spurs really short so it must be nail damage.

    Barred rocks show no sign of his having been there at all.
    Buff Orpington no real damage. (I only have one of them and the roo seems to leave her mostly alone. [​IMG])
    Delawares little damage, some thinning
    Rhode Island Red no damage

    The Rhode Island Red Delaware sex links (not my own cross breeds) --- massive damage. Many of them end up with bare backs and as soon as their backs start to show next thing you know the back is red and naked.

    I tried saddles, but the feathers under the saddles broke off and did not seem able to grow back....

    I currently have 3 separated from the flock to let those feathers grow back but gosh they grow slowly!! How long should re-feathering take? Has anyone else had this issue with this breed? I know it is a fairly common breed in the DelMarVa area.

  2. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    I suspect it is pecking order rather than mating damage, especially with only one rooster. I have the same thing--many of my Black Star sex-links are bare-backed to various degrees while the other species seem less badly treated. By the same token I have a couple of BS that are fully feathered. The hens have to sort things out for themselves--it happens. Surprisingly the best layers are those with the most damage.
  3. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    So should I worry about them??

    Some of them got really naked......
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, to me, any time you have a chicken that fairly "naked" I would worry, if for no other reason than a higher likelihood of the skin being broken (due to mating, pecking issues, etc.). Broken skin means potential infections.
    Have you sat out there and observed them for any length of time?? Personally, I like proof. I'd like to see 1) either that the roo has preferance for those hens or 2) that certain bully birds pick at these particular hens frequently. The only way to do that really is to watch.

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