My hens are being injured by our rooster! Advice Please!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by signal chicken, May 20, 2010.

  1. signal chicken

    signal chicken New Egg

    Sep 26, 2009
    Signal Mountain
    Last fall we switched to the Dixie Rainbow's developed by S and G Poultry in Alabama. I've been very impressed with their growth and health. Unfortunately, however, they seem to have ?? thin skin ?? which allows for serious slash wounds on their backs from the rooster. I've kept a few old favorite hens, an Orpington, two Polish Top Hats and a Rhode Island mix and none of these birds even have a bare back, let alone wounds.

    We've separated the rooster, nursed everyone back to health and feathers (14 hens total), then reintroduced the rooster this week, and within 3 days two of the Dixie hens have slash wounds again. Our goal was to breed for our own meat birds, and we will not be able to do this if we can't keep the roo with the hens.

    Our birds free range during the day and go to a protected coop at night.

    I've seen information for homemade denim back covers, but is this really a good idea? We live in Tennessee and it can really get warm in the summer months.

    I've also seen information on removing the spurs. Because the male is only 7-8 months old his spurs are not very large at all, and I'm not sure that it's his spurs -vs- his nails.

    He IS a big boy, we've not weighed him in 4 or 5 months when we were culling for size and conformation, but he weighted 8 pounds the last time he was weighed him. And he's not hurting the other breeds of hens, and he does mate with them.

    I hope I've included enough information for you all to give me some sage advice! Thanks in advance,

  2. markb816

    markb816 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2010
    Middle Tennessee
    can you provide current pictures of the victims and the roos?
    So we can get a picture of the situation and wounds.
    This might help to analyze.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Trim the toenails and spurs. He does not need to be with the hens full time to get fertile eggs. One breeding can supply a hen with enough sperm to easily fertilize all eggs she lays for a minimum of 2 weeks up to as long as 4 weeks( fertility will drop off after 2 weeks.) Judicious management of your flock will allow you to have fertile eggs and non damaged hens. Don't know about the thin skin issue. Is it possible that the damaged hens are his favorites?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by