My girls are getting scalped!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by afj6710, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 2, 2011
    My pullets head are getting bald and raw and a couple of them have had torn combs lately. I'm pretty sure it is from the roos beaks when mating with them. Is there anything I can do to stop this (other than getting rid of all my roos?) Is this common?
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    How many roos to hens do you have? Some feather loss at the back of the head can be common but scalped and bleeding means too much roo action..either because you have a young and eager roo, or too many breedings per hen. If you have too many roos, get rid of all but the best one. If you don't even need a roo and are just keeping them/him just because...get rid of him.
     
  3. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 2, 2011
    Right now, we do have too many roos. 2 of them, our mutt roos, are heading to freezer camp this weekend. Until recently they were staying away from the girls b/c the BO roo was running them off but we added a couple of hens to our flock and the BO isn't really claiming them as "his girls" yet. That will leave us with 12 hens and 2 roos - does that sound ok? We would like to keep 2 roos as we plan on seperating the them into two flocks but the other coop got taken over by our stinkin sussex chicks. Since our chickens have free range time every day, we feel like they need the roos for protection, plus we really want to breed them.
     
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Usual ratio is 1 roo: 10 hens. I've heard folks say they have one roo to just a few hens and everything is okay but I've found that two roos need plenty of gals to go around if they are both vigorous breeders. I've found the ratio is more comfortable at 1 roo: 15+ hens and even 1 roo can cover 28 hens and still have good fertility for all without any one hen getting too much roo action.

    The only time I had one roo with just a handful of hens, he was an old and very gentlemanly roo...and not too fertile or vigorous due to his age.

    I'd say, if your roos are both young and randy, you might need to either add some hens or pen one roo by himself in order for your hens to heal up and rest. That much roo action can cause your hens to stop laying from the added stress.
     

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