Need some advice about my rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GardenJen77, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. GardenJen77

    GardenJen77 Songster

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    I have a beautiful Brahma rooster. He does his job and protects his flock. However, he has a few hens, who peck off his feathers. His legs, his back end, and his neck are pecked clean of feathers. I think I have figured out which hens are doing it. ( The flock is mostly Isa Browns and all look the same). My next question is, what next?

    Do I get rid of hens? Do I seperate the rooster so he can heal?

    I know he's vulnerable to other hens taking up the "game" because he's so exposed, but is separating him an option? I feel he needs to be able to grow his feathers back, but how?

    Asking for suggestions from those who deal with this type of behavior. Experience matters.
     
    Trish1974 likes this.
  2. crazy4ChickensNducks

    crazy4ChickensNducks Songster

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    I would separate those hens and cull them, and your rooster should regrow his feathers.
     
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    Space/boredom are usually the issue with behavioural problems. Can you give them a bigger pen and things to scratch through (a pile of compost) or peck at (flock block, hang bunches of weeds like dandelions etc.).
     
  4. GardenJen77

    GardenJen77 Songster

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    They have a large run, and free range quite a bit. Space isn't an issue. The two hens, I've noticed, stay right with the rooster, joined at the hip so to speak, and just keep pecking his feathers, then they will go about their business for a bit, then come back.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    What all and how exactly are you feeding?
    Could be a dietary issue....or could have become a habit.
    How old are all these birds?
    I'd remove the pickers...feathers aren't likely to grow back until fall molt.
     
  6. GardenJen77

    GardenJen77 Songster

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    We feed them the regular chicken pellets you get in the store, using three hanging feeders, plus we give them supplemental scratch grain as a treat, plus all of our vegetable kitchen scraps, plus they free range, plus they get yard debris like lawn clippings, leaves, weed from the garden Etc.

    The rooster and other 2 brahmas are two years old, the Isa Browns, which seems to have 3 out of 13, what we call "rooster hens", are a year old now. The "rooster hens" have more of a rooster type comb and are very "macho " and seem to be what causes the most trouble, then others follow suit on occasion.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    The maybe lacking in nutrition.
    What is the protein percentage in the 'regular chicken pellets'.
    The extra stuff can dilute the nutrition of the feed.

    Are the "rooster hens" the ones picking on the Brahma cockbird?
    Are you sure they are not males?
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    Hi again. Hope you weren't offended by my suggestion about lack of space. It is a common cause, but clearly not in this case.
    I agree that it may be nutritional....layer pellets are usually formulated to be a complete feed so anything else that you give them will dilute the nutrients, particularly scratch which is only about 10% protein and they will eat it in preference to their pellets so it needs to be very strictly rationed.... too much can be the cause of very serious ailments and what appears a small amount to you or I can be a substantial amount to a chicken that only eats a few ounces of food a day. I would probably stop the scratch altogether for now and see if things improve. Free ranging is the biggest treat you can give them so don't feel mean withholding the scratch. I ferment some of their pellets and give them that as a daily treat, or you can just soak some in water and feed as a wet mash for a nutritionally balanced treat..... hope my girls never find out it is just their boring old pellets in a different form.

    You might also want to research "pinless peepers" as a means to break their habit.
    Good luck with them.
     
    GardenJen77 likes this.
  9. GardenJen77

    GardenJen77 Songster

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    I am not home to look at the bag, it's the standard layer feed. 16-18% I believe. How is getting some corn and seeds ( on occasion), which are full of protein, or veggie scraps, which have protein and vitamins, or free ranging and eating bugs, which have protein, causing a dietary issue?

    Yes the "rooster hens" are hens, they lay eggs, they don't fight with the rooster, and don't try mounting the other hens. They are just more domineering and prefer to do their own thing. At least one of them is the feather eater, I would have to go look at the ones I tagged when I get home.
     
  10. GardenJen77

    GardenJen77 Songster

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    We give them about 2 cups, amongst 23 birds thrown out in the yard when we do the scratch grain. We havent had any for a month or so, since we are raising a new set of chicks and have to buy them different feed. The price increase cancels out "treats". The free ranging or lawn scraps is their treat for now.
     

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