how can I catch the culprit? (get rid of rooster?)

attached_mama

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 19, 2010
67
0
39
Outskirts of Pittsburgh
One of our hens is getting her feathers plucked out, on her back, near her tail.
SHe's also been "nesting" and laying down (not sick or hurt though)

We do have a rooster (who was supposed to be a hen) that is maturing. Is it most likely him?

I watch them and don't see any of it happening.

Should I get rid of the rooster, or is this normal behavior?

(They were born in March)

Thanks!
 

flakey chick

Songster
12 Years
May 3, 2007
1,140
4
181
Florida
It looks like she might be his "favorite". It's best that he not mount her in front of you. That way you are seen as the dominant one. You can buy or make a saddle to protect your hen from over treading.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
247
421
SW Arkansas
If your roo is otherwise a good roo I would keep him and buy your girl a saddle to protect her feathers. My roo has 13 girls (and 13 more in the brooder) but he has a favorite hen. I keep a saddle on her to keep her feathers from being torn.
 

attached_mama

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 19, 2010
67
0
39
Outskirts of Pittsburgh
This is probably a dumb question, but this is my first time having chickens, although I read here and read one book.
WHY are her feathers missing? Is it from them mating, or do roosters pull at the feathers? THeir beak or feet?
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
247
421
SW Arkansas
Quote:Their feet, unless the feathers are missing from the back of her neck, then beak. Most but not all roosters get better, more practiced with age.
 

cracked_egg

Chirping
9 Years
Jun 2, 2010
198
3
99
Well, I'm still trying to figure out HOE exactly they mate, so your question wasn't dumb at all... Lol... I guess I'll wait until I have a roo and take a peek... Lol...
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
247
421
SW Arkansas
Quote:Chicken matings take 5 seconds (literally) so as long as your pullets are old enough that they don't fuss about it, it can happen without you even noticing.
Roosters do not have "one"
so it basically comes down to body part touching body part to exchange fluids. It's called the chloacael (sp?) kiss.
 

hd_darcy

Songster
10 Years
Apr 28, 2010
400
5
164
Wisconsin
I have a question to add (hope it's okay). Is there a more common time for them to mate? Like during the day in the run, or in the evening in the coop? Or is it totally random??? Just curious! Thanks!
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
384
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
Well, in my flock, the rooster gets out of the coop first, then tags every pullet/hen he can get as they exit the coop.

I always think, how roooood - let the poor thing get a cuppa coffee or a bug or something, first!!

Later in the day, he will woo them with goodies he finds for them. Sometimes he fakes 'em out with his "Lookie what I got for YOU, my sweet!" call, and it's nothing but a stick or feather or leaf. Sneaky devil.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
247
421
SW Arkansas
In my flock, the roo mates as many girls as he can when first let out in the morning. He tries to beat the girls out of the coop in the morning, but he's a big roo, the pop door is barely big enough for him and my hens are woman's libers. They shove past him to get out the door first.
I've noticed more mating goes on in the spring and early summer. Very rarely do I see him try to mate them in the winter and not at all when he's molting.
 
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