How to protect Lucille from Earl [updated, semi graphic pic]

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pixiechic, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2008
    North GA
    We have a couple of large white "meat birds" given to us by a neighbor, who are approximately 6-8 months old. Earl has just started crowing within the last month...and he's also recently started to mate with Lucille, every chance he gets. There are just the two of them in a small 12' x 12' pen, so he gets a lot of chances. [​IMG]

    Lucille doesn't seem to mind. She likes hanging around with Earl, and she'll even squat for him on occasion, but she's kind of taking a beating. I don't mind that he's getting her pretty white back all dirty, but he's been yanking out a lot of feathers. Yesterday I noticed a couple of large bare spots above her wings, and she wasn't bleeding, but clearly the skin has been broken.

    Do I need to protect poor Lucille from Earl's frequent advances, or is this OK?

    If I do need to protect her, the easiest thing I can think of is separating them. We are working on a new coop for the babies (we have 17 5-wk-old chicks still in a brooder) and a large 130' x 70' fenced run. We could conceivably put one bird in the big run during the day to semi-free-range - the existing fence would easily keep in chickens of their size, although it needs some beefing up before we move the chicks out there. If I move one of them to the large run during the day, which one should it be? I'd rather move Lucille because she's more likely to tolerate the chicks when we're ready to move them in, but I don't want her to feel like she's been kicked out of her home. On the other hand, Earl might be a better candidate because he'd likely kick any potential predator's a$$.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  2. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

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    Floresville, Texas
    Are you sure these are meat birds??? At 6 to 8 months old, I can't imagine them being this active. Anyway, that said, you could get Lucille a saddle to protect her back. [​IMG] Those seem to work for a lot of people.
     
  3. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    I don't think it really matter's which one you put out there. You could put both of them out there some during the day, that would give them more space and "other" things to do, lol. You could also if need be get/make a chicken apron/saddle for her. It will protect her back .
    Not that it matter's, but are sure they are meat birds? At that age I would think you would not have very active chickens.
     
  4. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2008
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    I am not 100% sure they are meat birds, but they are really huge chickens. Earl's feet are bigger than my hands.

    However, I am even less sure about their age. I know they aren't a year old yet, but could be as old as 10 months.

    Thanks for the apron idea -- I did a search here and found a pattern. DH sews a lot of tactical-type pouches and stuff out of cordura, so maybe he can make Lucille an apron!
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2008
  5. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    Hmmmmm Meat birds can usually not mate and can not kick any things a$$ because they are to fat to move so I guess that why everyone is wondering. I would make a apron for the hen. Are you planning on integrating the chicks with them when they are older because if so Earl could possible kill smaller egg laying breed hens by trying to mate with them.

    I am not sure good Luck,
    Henry
     
  6. lovinthechickens

    lovinthechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2008
    northern SD county, CA
  7. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

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    Can you post a pic of them? That way you could find out for sure what type chickens they are. There are some pretty large breed chickies out there. [​IMG]
     
  8. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I know you said you found a pattern but, if you use the link in my sig. you will find two (one sew and one nonsew). Just incase you would like different options.
     
  9. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Farmer Kitty, your patterns are the ones I found. [​IMG]

    Here are some pics of Earl and Lucille, along with their sister (who has since become dinner for a predator). These pics were taken in mid-March, and they have grown quite a bit since then.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2008
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    Quote:Ultimately we would like to have all the chickens together, yes. If Earl turns out to be a problem, he may have to stay in the smaller pen by himself, or find a new home.
     

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