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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by msmith6440, May 23, 2008.
we have 13 ladies and 3 roosters . the hens back's are missing feathers. is this normal?
The missing feathers are probably from over matting. The general rooster to hen ration is 1 roo per 8 hens. I think I'd be getting rid of a roo or keep 1 away from the hens.
You are lucky your roos aren't fussing with each other. I would separate the hens from the roos if their backs get really bad. Some lower ranking hens get the worse. You can put little saddles on their back to protect them from the spurs. I know you are probably laughing at that(saddles), I don't know the proper term for it. I think one roo could probably handle 13 hens.
It may or may not matter to you. The feather loss isn't a health issue, unless the bare spot becomes an open wound in which case you'll need to separate. I think I have about 110 hens and 15 roosters. But, some hens still show signs of overmating even at that ratio (not all the hens are exposed to roosters either). I think the boys just find some girls more attractive than others.
Before I found out that you can have to many roosters, I had 3 rooster to 4 hens. They never over mated the hens, but they did get in fights every once in a while. The head rooster wouldn't let the other 2 crow or even get close to the hens.
3 Rooster is a lot for 13 hens. 2 rooster might not be to many. Do you know if it is just 1 rooster over mating the hens?
Some of this is breed dependent, but by and large you have an excess of males.
I'd cut it to the two best and then keep them rotated among the femmes, switching them out every few days.