Hen pecked by rooster

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TyedyeGranny, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. TyedyeGranny

    TyedyeGranny New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2014
    I just started raising backyard chickens this spring. I have a laying hen that has feathers missing from the back of her neck and suspect it is from the rooster mating. Any suggestions on how to prevent this or help the hen out?
     
  2. royal chickens

    royal chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    there are things called 'chicken saddles' that will help protect her. also, make sure that any other hens you have are not pecking at her.
     
  3. TyedyeGranny

    TyedyeGranny New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2014
    it is not on the back, the feathers are gone from the back of her NECK.
     
  4. royal chickens

    royal chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Maybe you should try to tie a bandana to her neck.[​IMG]
     
  5. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would put some blu kote on her bare spot to prevent others from pecking at her. I would not put anything around her neck or head, this could get caught on something or grabed by another bird and it could damage her vertabre. What is happening is that he is trying to mate and she is not being receptive. If he continues to be too rough you might try removing him from the hens for a couple of days, sometimes this works sometimes not. It can be difficult with a teenage roo.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  6. royal chickens

    royal chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Good idea! When I go to tractor supply, I see this oil rube that is supposed to stop pecking, and heal the wounds. my neighbor tried it, and it worked amazingly. I don't know the name off it.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Part of the mating ritual is that the rooster grabs the back of the hen’s head. That’s her signal to raise her tail up out of the way so he can hit the target. If that doesn’t happen, they don’t mate.

    How old are they? It’s fairly common for a cockerel and a pullet to not have very good technique. The cockerel’s technique is more important but they both have a role to play. A hen losing a few feathers either on the back of her head or her back is pretty common and is not a cause for concern, but if those areas start to get bare it becomes a concern. You don’t want the hen to start bleeding from an injury. It’s possible the other chickens will become cannibals.

    If the feathers are totally removed they will soon grow back. If just a tiny bit of the shaft is left in there, that feather will not be replaced until the next molt.

    Normally if they are still fairly young they will mature out of that phase and learn better technique. I can’t tell you how long that takes or how much risk the hen is in. I see that sometimes. I even see it on older hens, but it is usually just one of the older hens which makes me think it is something about her more than the rooster. If it were several hens I’d think it more likely the rooster had a bigger part to play in it. I’ve never had a hen get injured from that and some have been pretty bare on the back of the neck, but others on this forum have had hens injured pretty badly that way.

    The way I handle it is that if there is no bleeding or injury, I leave them alone. When I see bleeding I isolate that chicken until they heal up. The only time I’ve had to do that was when a hen was pecking the feathers off a rooster’s throat and he started bleeding.
     
  8. TyedyeGranny

    TyedyeGranny New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2014
    Thank you all for the input. She has healed up nicely. My roo is spreading his love around to some of the other hens and I think this gave her break enough to heal without any extra care needed. Thanks again for the advice.
     

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