Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by tjhayden1955, Dec 20, 2014.

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  1. tjhayden1955

    tjhayden1955 In the Brooder

    Dec 18, 2014

    My name is TJ. Im new to chickens and I got my first chicks from my family on Mothers Day this year. I thought I had 8 hens but ended up with 3 roosters...lol (after worrying if I was going to have 1 rooster) and 5 hens. Not sure what breeds they are. They are all healthy chickens but one day I went to check on them in the morning and one of my hens were dead. Not sure why. Haven't lost any more since then. Im concerned about the black spots on the roosters combs and want to know if I should separate the roosters from the hens because the roosters are pulling all the feathers from an area on their backs when breeding. The roosters seem to be fighting a lot with each other also. I was getting 8-10 eggs a day until the one hen died and now the others don't seem to want to lay.. I get maybe 1-2 eggs a day now. Does anyone have any help for me. Would be very much appreciated.

    Also I live in Michigan. Can I let them outside everyday even though its cold or should I only let them out when it like above 35...Should I enclose my run with heavy plastic on the outside of the wire? My coop is insulated so its warm in there and can anyone tell me how much lighting I should have inside?
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. Apparently you have a duplicate thread. But as I just said on your other thread, black spots on the comb are classic frostbite symptoms. Vaseline on the combs can help prevent that. Also you need to make sure that your coop is dry and well ventilated so that moisture does not build up in it. Feathers are wonderful insulators and cold is not nearly as great a danger as moisture is. Also, I would definitely put a roof over the top of the run. As for your roosters, the recommended ratio of roosters to hens is 1 rooster for every 10 hens. As they mature, too many roosters will become very hard physically on your hens; over-breeding them, biting and plucking the feathers from their necks and backs, battering them, and potentially injuring them. As drumstick diva indicated, the only reason you need a rooster is to fertilize eggs for hatching, and 1 rooster can easily handle 10 hens in this regard. I currently have 25 hens and no roosters, and I get loads of eggs without all the aggression, fights, biting and feather plucking, feeding of non-productive mouths, crowing in the middle of the night, drop off in egg production, over-breeding and battering of hens that goes along with having roosters (especially too many). My hens are stress free and enjoying life without a rooster around. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.
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