Hen not happy in Jacksonville Florida

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jaxneptune, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. jaxneptune

    jaxneptune Out Of The Brooder

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    I have an establised rooster, three hens, and three hens about six months old. They stay in the coop until I let them free range in the evenings when I get home from work. All is well when the are in the coop. One of the established hens decided recently that she dosen't want the rooster to have his way with her. She lays down flat on the ground which really frustrates the rooster to the point she is bald on the top of the head. If she can get away she either runs between my legs for protection or hides in the woods, which is not safe. Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    [​IMG]

    She is laying flat, but it's different from when a hen is in a mating squat (which is normal)?

    If she's getting bare on her back, you can have her wear a saddle. As for the head baldness, I haven't seen where anyone has come up with an idea for that yet. (ETA: Except for blunting the roo's beak, which may or may not help)

    Are the younger hens laying? That may provide some improvement, allowing the rooster to spread the love around a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  3. jaxneptune

    jaxneptune Out Of The Brooder

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    The younger ones are not laying yet but he still has his way with them as well as the older hens. It just seems he gets a lot more agressive with her because she lays flat on the ground. He stays on top for sometimes over a minute and just keeps pulling on top of her head. The other hens he is on and off in a few seconds.
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I'm dealing with the same thing currently. In fact, I have a hen in isolation right now because of it. She was getting hounded by several roos, not just the alpha and ended up wounded.
    Beyond seperating the roo, I don't have much advice for you. [​IMG]
     
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    When a hen squats, and makes herself flat, she is being submissive. Three hens to one rooster is a low ratio, and I'm surprised all of them don't look barebacked and raggedy. One thing that helps is a hen saddle. Of course, that doesn't help if the roo pulls out their neck feathers and the feathers on their heads.

    Unless you are breeding, I wouldn't keep a rooster with just a few hens like that.

    Also, sometimes a rooster just picks a hen out that he doesn't like, and now matter how flat she squats, he abuses her. Unnecessary roughness. I would get rid of him. If a hen is running from a rooster, he is being too rough. That's making her miserable, I bet.

    Sorry this is happening for you, I know you can get attached to roosters too, and they are so pretty......I've had two roosters so far, and I've given them both away because they were too rough on the girls.

    I also had a nice Wheaten Marans rooster, and he was just STUNNING! Anyhow, I had two hens (breeding trio). He really favored one hen and mated with her so much that her back started getting bald and she had a few sores. I put a hen saddle on her, which helped, but he pulled the feathers out of her neck too, and she was just a mess.......And she was sooo pretty when I got her. I like pretty hens. I gave the trio back to the breeder.

    I have a rooster now that I hatched myself. He's an olive egger. Anyhow, he's as sweet as pie so far, and I sure hope he stays that way.......

    So I hope you find a solution to your problem that makes you happy!

    Good luck,
    Sharon
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Quote:I'm dealing with the same thing currently. In fact, I have a hen in isolation right now because of it. She was getting hounded by several roos, not just the alpha and ended up wounded.
    Beyond seperating the roo, I don't have much advice for you. [​IMG]

    Check her sides to see if she has been injured by the rooster. This is a frequent reason that hens stop "submitting" to the rooster.
     
  7. jaxneptune

    jaxneptune Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks to everyone for all the information and ideas. My ratio has always been 1 rooster to 6 or 7 hens. They are in the coop together all day until I get home in the afternoon and let them free range until dark. I have never seen the roo even attempt to mount the hens while in the coop. In my neighborhood there are dogs and cats that make it on my property, plus an abundance of hawks and snakes etc. Bubba the rooster does a great job keeping the hens safe. If it wasn't for him they would be in trouble all the time. I know this is probably a dumb question, but is there anything such a cap or hood I could put on the hen to keep him from pulling the feathers from the top of her head? Again, thanks for everyones help.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Not that I know of, sorry. [​IMG]
     

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