Horribly Bareback Hens Help?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by katelk, May 29, 2016.

  1. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a flock of 24. There is no question that my main roo has enough options. However, for whatever reason there are 3 specific ladies that he likes more than anyone else. Maybe because they are at the bottom of the totem pole, so are easy targets. These poor girls look half plucked. I have been keeping an eye on them, fed feather fixer, give high protein treats, but now that it's summer their skin almost looks sunburned, there is no sign of feather regrowth, and he just is on them too much for them to recuperate. Just now I noticed one has a small little tear in her skin. I will be doctoring her tonight.
    My dilemma is, how can I help them without caging them for a significant period of time (my birds free range) and depriving them of all the yummy summer greens and bugs and such? I have a love-hate relationship with this rooster. He is really hard on the girls (there are a couple other less dominant ladies whose feathers aren't perfect), but he makes beautiful, big, healthy babies.
    Any ideas? I could really use some brainstorming help! Thanks!
     
  2. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have read on here and I think I saw some for sale in the classified. Section.

    Chicken saddles. Put those on your roos prefer hens.
     
  3. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've heard of those! Do you have experience using them on your birds?
     
  4. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No.
    I don't have any knowledge of using a saddle on my hens
     
  5. mechanic57

    mechanic57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had this problem. Rooster kept mating the same white leghorns until they looked naked and they refused to come out of the coop. I thought it was because they were all white and he couldn't tell them apart. The other hens are different breeds and have different color patterns and are more easily identifiable (at least to me). Anyway, I ended up getting rid of the rooster. I didn't breed any specific breed at the time so I had no use for one that was causing so much stress and injury during mating. They feather grew back after the next molt. If you want to keep your rooster for mating purposes, you may want to consider keep him in a separate coop and run. Some people have breeding pens where the hens are added for a couple of weeks then kept separate for the rest of the year.
     
  6. smleggshack

    smleggshack Out Of The Brooder

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    I have used the aprons on one of my girls when she was healing from a hawk attack. I was able to put her back in with the flock and now after three weeks of healing and new feathers coming in she no longer needs it. I made my own. Fleece material works best and you don't have to sew anything.
     
  7. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's so strange, the 3 girls he is targeting are also my only 3 white ones... Maybe they are just more flashy or easier to keep tabs on? Lol I don't breed for any reason other than replenishing my own flock and for fun. I don't hatch every year. I have actually witnessed this rooster take down a hawk. I heard the girls freaking out and I got to the window in time to see the hawk swooping down and this rooster jumped like 3 feet up in the air and flogged the hawk, bringing it to the ground. No one was hurt and the hawk didn't come back. So he definitely is earning his keep!
     
  8. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome. I am hoping this will do the trick. Thanks!!
     
  9. galefrances

    galefrances Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just recently had to purchase hen saddles for my girls. One of them had a couple of gashes on her back from the roo losing his balance. Anyway, I purchased my first set of saddles from Amazon sold by Louise's closet. They seem to be the lowest in price and are made better than more expensive ones I purchased that were made to order. I paid $26.95 for a five pack of standard size. They are nicely padded and have elastic with snaps to go around the wings. I think the ones with the snaps were a bit extra but it's worth it.They have two styles, One covers just the back or the butterfly which covers the wings as well. I would suggest the butterfly.They fit perfectly and the hens keep them on. Their movement isn't limited at all. And it has the added benefit of protecting their bare backs from the sun until their feathers grow back.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'd get rid of the rooster, but it sounds like you don't want to do that.

    You might consider not hatching eggs from the bare backed hens. Some folks here have posited the brittle feathers are genetic, and have been able to breed them out of their flocks. Just something to keep in mind.
     

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