Hens feathers gone,..did the rooster do it?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Up-the-Creek, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Up-the-Creek

    Up-the-Creek Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2008
    West Virginia
    I have a flock of 10 hens and one rooster. 8 of my hens are bare backed and half of them have lost feathers on their heads [​IMG]. My question is, is my rooster doing this to my girls or are they molting??? I have watched the roosters behavior with them and he don't seem no rougher than a usual roo would be. If they are molting, isnt this the wrong time for that? They will be a year old the end of April. Any help will be appreciated. [​IMG]
     
  2. BeccaOH

    BeccaOH Morning Gem Farm

    Oct 3, 2008
    east central Ohio
    Yep, Mr. Roo is too amorous.

    I thought it was a molt starting on my one BA when I first noticed it weeks ago. Now 4 of my seven hens have broken, thinned feathers on their backs. One has feather loss on her head.

    A BYC friend recommended I move my roo to his own little house and only put him with select hens for a day or two at a time. She had a hen get gashed by the rooster's spurs because the hen had lost too much feather protection.

    You could remove his spurs, but his claws and beak can still cause feather loss.

    I'm working on a rooster apartment plan now, but he is still in with my ladies for the time being and I'm watching that their skin doesn't become exposed.
     
  3. Up-the-Creek

    Up-the-Creek Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2008
    West Virginia
    This has me worried. There skin is exposed, they are bare backed and some bare headed. Thier skin hasnt been ripped open yet or nothing and I have been watching them pretty close too. So maybe I should seperate him from them, or maybe more hens?
     
  4. BeccaOH

    BeccaOH Morning Gem Farm

    Oct 3, 2008
    east central Ohio
    You can search "saddle" on here for many ideas. There is a pattern to make a no sew one that would be a quick fix over their backs. I can't think a saddle would be good for very long term use IMHO, but it would provide some protection right now if you don't have a place for your roo to go.

    I thought about more hens too. It might help some if your rooster had more hens and more space for foraging and other distractions, but if your girls' backs are already exposed, then they need a break from him. It will likely take several weeks to recover their feather protection.

    There are tips on here too for foods that help regrow feathers -- black sunflower seeds being one, I believe.
     
  5. jlmann

    jlmann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Could be the rooster but it could also be some of the other hens. I have a barred rock hen who will bully ANY other bird that gets within pecking range and she is especially bad anytime new birds are introduced. I have also seen game hens from the same hatch single out one particular bird and eventually kill it for whatever reason. Are your birds crowded? Sometimes crowding will cause pecking. hopefully it is just your rooster though cause you can definately seperate him from the rest . Good luck!

    Oh hey I think you replied to my new member introduction yesterday. You are from WV right? Close to where? I grew up in Hinton good luck with your birds.....

    JM
     
  6. Up-the-Creek

    Up-the-Creek Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2008
    West Virginia
    Thanks so much on the advice. [​IMG] I might just have to find somewhere to put him, if he is lucky not in a pot! [​IMG] I figured that was what is going on, I love my girls and I sure dont want nothing happening to them. So I guess DH is going to have to build me a roo apt.
     
  7. Up-the-Creek

    Up-the-Creek Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2008
    West Virginia
    Quote:Thanks for the advice on the hens. Ive been watching them,it seems the roo is the problem. They arent crowded, so I just think he is being an overbearing @!!

    Yea Im from WV,..close to Hinton. Good to see ya on here!
     
  8. BeccaOH

    BeccaOH Morning Gem Farm

    Oct 3, 2008
    east central Ohio
    I just checked out your BYC page. Those are nice looking birds.

    I call my BO rooster "Romeo" Roo, too. Must be something about the name that is fitting. [​IMG]

    True, it could be one of your hens. The first of my hens to show trouble appears to be low in the pecking order and very timid. The hen I consider my dominant has the best looking feathers. Hmm
     
  9. Up-the-Creek

    Up-the-Creek Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2008
    West Virginia
    Thanks,..I love my girls. The roosters I could live without, but I like hatching out babies, so I have to have the roos.

    Romeo is a befitting name for most roosters isn't it??? Actually my son named him Yokahoma,...too much of a mouthfull for me. He is a looker though.
     
  10. Up-the-Creek

    Up-the-Creek Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2008
    West Virginia
    Quote:You have the prettiest girls! I want to eventually get me some BO's and BA's. You have a nice setup for them [​IMG].
     

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