hens torn up by roos - need prevention ideas!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BarkerChickens, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    [​IMG] We had 2 hens (Del and JG) that got ripped open from a 6 month old Delaware roo. He didn't even have his spurs! He was obsessed with the hens (always going after after them for his own enjoyment) and we figured, given his age, he'd only get worse, so we culled him (~1 month ago). Nice roo, but a bit "one track minded". The Del hen is 100% healed and the JG hen is still healing, but doing very well.

    Now we have 28 hens and 2 roosters (JG and Faverolle). Plenty of hens to choose from, right? Wrong apparently. [​IMG] One of my Buckeye hens submisses to the JG roo every time he's within a quarter mile of her (it seems that way anyway). So, of course, he's takes the invitation. Well, this evening I noticed a small patch of feathers missing and a side cut. [​IMG] He is a nice roo and definitely not aggressive with them at all. I am sure his size has some to do with it, but Buckeyes are exactly small either. The wound was filled with dirt dried into the scab, so I cleaned as best I could, packed it with neosporin and put her in the back bedroom. Honestly, I am fine with treating her...I've gotten plenty of experience with this by now! [​IMG]

    But, do I seriously need to put jackets on ALL 28 hens or is there some way to prevent any more of these. I am not about to sew up 28 jackets (I gave my mom my sewing machine and that's a bit too much hand sewing for me!) and buying 28 jackets is pricey! However, i have heard fleece works by cutting and does not need stitching. That is completely doable if I really need to get jackets for the hens. But, fleece retains water, so in the event we get rain, do I need to remove all jackets first? (NOTE: I live in a desert...rain isn't exactly the most common occurrence around here). The last thing I want is to prevent injury and cause hypothermia!

    Any advice is helpful!!!
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Sounds to me like you have it under control.

    All three of my roos are in their own pen.

    Come Nov/Dec they will get their time with the girls as that is when I'll be starting a hatch.
  3. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    I have the treatment under control, but definitely not the prevention! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  4. TheGoldenRoo

    TheGoldenRoo A Crazy and Fun Chicken

    Oct 15, 2009
    Where is he pecking at them the most?
    I was thinking like a spray that you could spray on the hens to make them taste bad? <i know it sound really wierd> [​IMG]
  5. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I'm no expert, but I would think you only need to put saddles on the hens that are the roosters' favorites. Way back when, when I had a mature roo, he only favored a couple of hens. I made them saddles out of denim. When I washed them, they did the cute little fray thing at the edges.
  6. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Prevention- Buy a metal bit to put in the roosters beak and trim his spurs

    Saddles can be made out of anything as long as the fabric is thick enough even an old flannel shirt cut into a nice sized piece and tied around the hens back and sides would work
  7. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Trim his nails. Get one of those battery operated dog nail grinders (I can't think of the name) and use it to file the nails so they are rounded and not sharp.
  8. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    lauralou: True! There a few that he is not so interested in (why go for the chase, when another hen submits!). 5-10 saddles (for both roos' favorites) is MUCH more manageable than 28! [​IMG]

    chickenaddict: He isn't too bad with his beak, it's his toes (cuts under the wing). And he's 7 or 8 mos old...his spurs are miniscule. However, I will keep the "trimming the spurs" suggestion in my back pocket, as I will likely need it when he is a wee bit older! Thanks! Thanks for the flannel idea too!

    purpletree23: Dremel? I like this idea! Conveniently, DH wants a dremel (among other tools) for his B-day! "Here, Honey, happy b-day! You should practice using it on the roos toenails! Why don't I go grab him for you!". [​IMG]

    Thanks ya'll!! I think I need to make a few saddles this weekend for the "favorites" and have DH trim the roos' toenails! Sometimes the problem masks the easiest solution, but fellow BYC members are always here to remind us of the best solutions!! Ya'll are the best! [​IMG]
  9. Uppity Peon

    Uppity Peon Chillin' With My Peeps

    I doubt you will need aprons for all of them. Maybe the one that is getting scratched and losing feathers is the only one who would benefit from it. I find that having structures is useful for hens that want to run away. They can jump up on the jungle gym or duck under the pallets that lean against my compost bin, and the roos will give up the chase.
  10. I use plain old duct tape. put a soft piece of cloth under the tape and duct down below the open parts, It will wear off ususally while they take dust baths, but it works.Looks strange, and you will probably be asked number of times why does that chicken have duct tape on her , but works for me. marrie

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