Lost feathers, when do they grow back?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 3rocksandme, May 24, 2011.

  1. 3rocksandme

    3rocksandme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 1 rooster and 20 hens all just shy of 1 year old. The rooster has ripped out the feathers on the backs of most of the hens and some have bald spots on the backs of their heads. How long until the grow new feathers?
     
  2. Carolyn

    Carolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometimes they won't grow back until after the next molt. It depends on whether they are broken or entirely plucked out. i don't think roos usually pluck them so you may be in for the long hall.
    I find it interesting that you have 1 roo for 20 hens since we are usually told this is a problem more so when Mr. Roo doesn't have a big enough harmen...guess that shoots that theory.

    I know it is disgusting to have this happen. Maybe someone can offer some suggestions. Chicken aprons might help but I have never used them.
     
  3. 3rocksandme

    3rocksandme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He wasn't supposed to be a rooster and we just ended up keeping him. We did not specifically want a rooster and we still don't really want a rooster but don't have the heart to do much else with him. I was hoping since he had such a large flock that the damage to hens would be min. It doesn't seem so, his favorites are really beat up looking. Not sure on the feathers whether he's plucking them or they are just completely scractched cleaned from his claws when he's breeding them. Is the first molt usually around 18 months of age?
     
  4. grassy2

    grassy2 New Egg

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    Same happens with my hens and rooster. I have one rooster and about 20 hens. He seems to have 'favorites" as they are the most bald-backed of all. There was a mistake last winter when some hens from one flock escaped and they never had a rooster in their flock. He is completely disinterested in them, as if they aren't his. He grew up with the hens he is a flockmate with. I isolated them but no feathers have grown back, but they are only a little over a year and haven't had their first hard molt yet. I hope when they do the feathers grow back and quick.
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    If you keep him, consider investing in hen saddles for his favorites. As Carolyn said, if the feather is completely gone it will start to grow back immediately. If it's only broken off, but the shaft is intact, it won't grow back until the next molt.
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    do roosters get better at this? Mine is just a year old, he is not quite as active as he was a few months ago, then I thought he would wear himself out. [​IMG]

    But from what I have read, is that their technique improves with age, and as he has never bothered a human, I have kept him. Hoping that their feathers grow back eventually. Or do I have to get rid of the roo in order to have fully feathered hens. Are older roosters better, as in less feather breakage? Cause I hate to get rid of this one, only to start over with a young rooster!
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Mrs. K :

    do roosters get better at this? Mine is just a year old, he is not quite as active as he was a few months ago, then I thought he would wear himself out. [​IMG]

    But from what I have read, is that their technique improves with age, and as he has never bothered a human, I have kept him. Hoping that their feathers grow back eventually. Or do I have to get rid of the roo in order to have fully feathered hens. Are older roosters better, as in less feather breakage? Cause I hate to get rid of this one, only to start over with a young rooster!

    My Thor was horrible about tearing up the hen's backs when he was young. He got better with age; he could mate without ruffling a single feather. Impy on the other hand never could get the technique right.​
     

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