introduce a roo?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Tamra, May 10, 2011.

  1. Tamra

    Tamra Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello, I have a feather pulling/pecking problem with my flock. It is an all hen small flock of 7. They have a 8X10 coop and a 25X36 yard. The yard has tree stumps, roosts, treat ball and a "salad bar". I feed layer pellets, free choice oyster shell and table scraps with cat food. I read this could be a protine issue? I also read I should bring a rooster into the flock and that it may help. Unsure if this really is a good idea. I thought the girls would gang up on and kill the roo but others say it works out fine.
    The hens seem happy other than their bare backs and occasional bloody "booboos" but I don't want this to get worse and I don't like the idea of them being in pain. I should also say I never see this happening and they all have feather loss so I can not tell who the bad one is.
    So, my question is....should I introduce a roo to the flock or is this a bad idea? Any help will be greatly appreciated.[​IMG]
     
  2. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I doubt the flock would kill a rooster. Most hens will accept a roo in my experience (you may want one that's at least as large as your hens just to be safe though), but I'm not so sure this would solve the pecking problem. Sometimes boredom can lead to feather pulling, but it seems like you have plenty for them to do in the run, so I'm not really sure. Do you free range them at all? If not, it may help.
     
  3. Tamra

    Tamra Out Of The Brooder

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    Currently I do not free range. I tried but my neighbors dog payed them a visit and took one home for supper. GRrrr!! [​IMG]
    I do have plans of getting a portable fence so I can let them out in the yard when I'm home. It would be a light weight fence which would be approx. 40x40 or so and I will be able to move it around.
    I'm going to check into a roo and see about the size. I did not think of that, good point. Thank you.
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    You don't have to worry about the roo. If he has any hormones, he will be leading them by morning. The first time I added one, the head hen ran up and knocked him down, but he jumped right up and knocked her back, I thought "oh my, here we go." But that was it.

    The thing is, I have 7 hens, and a roo. And while my hens don't feather pick, they are still barebacked because my roo is a bit inexperienced. He is 10 months old. He is getting all the right roo traits, such as calling to his girls, I saw him do the wing dance to the hen I had put the apron on, shares any treat that he finds. And he is nice to me, and gives me my space.... so I am keeping him....so far. I do not think one should keep a roo if you have small children, roos are not trust worthy, and will generally attack a small child first.

    I have tried the aprons, but have limited success in keeping them on. If it is the pecking, many people here have gone with the peepers.

    MrsK
     
  5. Tamra

    Tamra Out Of The Brooder

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    I never heard of the peepers. What are they and where would I get them?
    Another good point about the roo. I do have a small child. A 3 year old boy who loves to help collect the eggs. I'll have to consider that carefully before I make any decisions. Once i get an animal, I'm commited so I like to be sure I'm ready for it first.
    I have a friend of a friend who is trying to get rid of some of her roo's (too many for her flock) I'll have to ask what they are and if she has noticed any traits that are not so good. Anything else I should ask?
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Peepers are like little blinders that fit over the chicken's beak, for example http://www.randallburkey.com/PIN-LESS-PEEPERS-100-PKG/productinfo/10097/

    Roosters
    can be a bit tricky, but not all of them will attack small children. I've been around roosters since I was probably 7 or 8, when I got 2 chicks as pets (1 which turned out to be a roo). We've never had any that were people aggressive until this past year, and both of those were bantams. All of our big boys have been pretty laid back. Right now I have one that isn't people aggressive, but he does leave his hens bare-backed, so he's in a roo time out cage; I've been trying to give him away for almost a year and think it's almost time to give up on that idea and put him in a pot. I have another roo who isn't aggressive and also treats his hens well, so that's the one I'll be keeping. All roosters are different, so if you do get one, I'd just supervise him when he's around young children.
     
  7. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I totally get the commitment thing BUT I don't name a roo until I'm sure he is going to work out. A good roo will enhance the flock and make coop life wonderful for all... but a bad roo will disrupt everything and make all unhappy. I will choose a well behaved and gentlemanly roo (but maybe a bit plain) over a nasty (but georgeous) roo any day! ...even if I have raised him from day one. I have had some of both kinds... good boys stay, take care of their girls and are loved and bad boys go to the Sale Barn w/ full disclosure.
     
  8. Tamra

    Tamra Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, I should say that I'm going to do my best to make it work. However, if he is a "p.i.t.a" then after I have exhausted all possibilities he will be outta here. I just like to have a game plan before hand and a place for him to go if need be.
    My hens seem a little calmer the past 2 days. Maybe it's the nice weather we've been having. I hope it comtinues and they start to get some of their feathers back. For now I'll just try to make life as interesting as possible for them and keep researching the roo. The peepers look so strange. I'd have to see them on a chicken. How do they help to keep the chickens from pecking? I mean they can still eat/drink so they have use of their beaks. Is it just that they don't see the other chickens as well? All this new stuff is so different. I grew up with chickens but never did any of the things I'm doing now. Ignorence is bliss. My chickens must have really missed out but they never seemed to have any problems other than the night time preditors. Go figure! [​IMG]
     
  9. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, the peepers keep the chickens from seeing each other well, which is supposed to help reduce pecking. I've never tried them myself, so I can't really say whether they actually work. You could do a forum search to see if there are any threads detailing the effectiveness of people that have used them.

    As for the roosters, they do add a lot to a flock if you get a good one. My flock just doesn't feel complete without a roo, but you may not get the ideal roo on the first try. I've seen the saying on here plenty of times that mean roosters taste the best, but I don't know if that's an option for you. ^^;
     
  10. Tamra

    Tamra Out Of The Brooder

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    HA! That's so funny. I wish it could be an option but I don't think I could be the one to do it. I have heard the college her in CT. will take the birds and butcher them for you. They do a very nice job from what I understand. A friend of mine and I were looking into it.
     

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