Hens missing feathers on back - do we blame the Roo??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by geoaware, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. geoaware

    geoaware Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 3, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Hi folks...we currently have three hens and one roo - all the same age (about a year). Two of the girls have lost feathers on their backs and top of wings. The third girl- Princess (who is a mental case) has all her feathers. We notice that Princess eggs are never fertile...and the other girls eggs are.

    Someone mentioned the lost of feathers could be the roo being over amorous. . If that is the case, should be isolate him till the feathers grow back?

    He is also a savage jerk (technical term only folks) who attacks us constantly...but her have nursed him back to health after a dog attack so don't want to dispatch him.

    Any other suggestions comments?

    Ta

    G&J
     
  2. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Yep, you have roo trouble. I would consider moving the roo out for a little bit give the girls a break, but you might try a chicken saddle for them. There's a pattern in Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, by Gail Damarow I've actually made a few and they work. Good luck
     
  3. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    It could be the roo, but they are probably molting. Usually comes on after 1 year of age. They also stop laying for a while, so be prepared if that happens, too.
     
  4. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    I thought molting started with the head.
     
  5. geoaware

    geoaware Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 3, 2007
    Southern Maine
    We have noticed that the egg laying effort has been hit and miss for all of them...not the normal 3 eggs a day....more like 2 a day on average. They all lay diferent color eggs...and there is no rhyme of reason to the laying pattern.

    Maybe its a bit of both...molting and roo?
     
  6. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Yep, sounds like an overamorous rooster.

    The 'recommended' ratio of roosters to hens is 1 rooster for every 5-10 hens. With only 2, maybe 3, hens to service they are getting too much of a good thing, if you know what I mean.

    You can do a few things here...

    First, you can isolate the rooster - just put him in a separate area where he can still see and dance for the girls, but can't actually get to them.

    Secondly you could make 'saddles' for the girls who have lost feathers. If you do a search on here for 'saddle' you'll find instructions and a pattern to make your own, as well as places to buy them premade.

    Thirdly, you could get rid of the roo - which you have said you don't want to do...

    And finally, and my personal favorite option.... you can get about 5 more hens to spread the lovin' around a bit! [​IMG]
     
  7. geoaware

    geoaware Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 3, 2007
    Southern Maine
    We are expecting 6 more hen chicks next week.......so maybe we can isolate the roo till they get big enough to join the flock
     
  8. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    See - you already had a solution to your problem....you just didn't know it yet!

    Yep - I'd isolate until the girls are old enough to join the ladies and then he will be a happy roo and hopefully no one or two girls will be getting all the attention.
     
  9. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    You can follow the link in my sig for sew and no sew saddle patterns.
     

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