Mixing adult hens and introducing a rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Offgrid, May 23, 2012.

  1. Offgrid

    Offgrid Hatching

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    May 23, 2012
    Tomstown Ontario
    Hi I'm new to this site. Very informative! I started with 10 ready to lay red sex links last june. Always produced well. Start of this May they started molting but only slightly. Noticed egg production went down and they were getting iritated in coup. Lots of pecking began. Feathers pulled out and 2 had their vents picked enough they got sick and reclusive. Decided it was time for a rooster. Picked up a Bantee rooster and 3 bantee hens. Took the bantee hens a week to adjust and start laying. Rooster seems to have straightened out the pecking order.
    Wanted to get more hens for eggs so picked up 17 scruffy looking cage kept RIR and ISA browns. They look terrible regarding feathers... or lack of. I locked them all in the coup for the night to hash out the pecking order. All the hens are about the same age. 30 hens and 1 rooster. The coup is 8x16 and i have 10 nests in it. They only seem to use about 6 of them. They also have a 10x30 fence pen for outside time which I put up 3 weeks ago. I have reached a maximum of 20 eggs in a day. Most of them I think are from the new scruffy stock. It has been almost 2 weeks of them all being together so I feel they are all used to each other now.
    A few questions:
    1. Is the flock too big for 1 rooster? I don't really see him servicing any hens.
    2. Should I make more nest boxes? I have 10
    3. At their age and time of year should production be up or is it all the shocks to their environment slowing things down?
    4. The caged flock I recieved are missing major feathers, looks like someone started plucking and gave up, will the neck chest and wing feathers grow back decently or are they permanently rubbed away from the cages? I don't use cages.
    Thanks for any insite!
     
  2. Singlemaple

    Singlemaple Songster

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    Jan 27, 2010
    Merrimack NH
    Okay i will answer what i know..

    1. i would have a rooster for every ten hens.. otherwise they can't do there job.

    2.no more nest box's they say 2 hens per box... all lies i have 9 box's for 30 laying hens and another 30 that are starting soon they only use 5 of them..

    3.at a year old they will start molting so you will have a shortage of eggs they normally molt in the warmest weather but hey i had one molt in February...

    4. after they molt there feathers should grow back i had a badly beat up hen and she has grown her feathers back without a problem..
     
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

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    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    1 If there is peace in you flock, ask yourself why you need a(nother) rooster. Fertile eggs or some other reason.
    2 Four hens per nest box is the standard. They often use just a favored few however.
    3 Spring is the time when production usually goes up. With the molting and the new hens, yes their production will be down. The new hens probably not up to speed yet too.
    4 Most likely the feathers will grow back, if not now then when they go through their molt.
     

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