Odd Behaviors

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicksneedhelp, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. chicksneedhelp

    chicksneedhelp Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2013
    I have a surprise rooster and three hens about 8 months old. The roo is a New Hampshire Red, and the hens are a New Hampshire Red, a Barred Rock, and a Rhode Island Red. The BR hen got larger and developed a comb first, and then the NHR grew larger and had a comb. The RIR has stayed pretty small and dark, but has a comb. I get one or two eggs a day, and suspect the RIR hasn't laid much if any.

    First problem: the roo has jumped on the BR and NIH to the point that their feathers are removed - today the BR was red in that area - not bleeding but reddened. They have some high cubbies they can escape to, but what to do? Do I need more hens for the roo to leave them alone? Why doesn't he have interest in the RIR? Is she just a very late bloomer?

    Next question: I would let them have baby chicks, but would not want more roosters! Would it be better to get some chicks this spring and would the hens raise them? Would the roo be okay with that?

    Finally: it has been so bitter cold this last week, and suddenly every other one of the eggs laid was smaller, thinner, and pale beige as opposed to large and milk chocolate brown. Half of the eggs usually have been speckled. So I had figured that one or possibly two girls were laying the solid ones and the other was laying the speckled one. Now I wonder if someone's sick, or if their diet is off, or if that's a reaction to cold, or if my RIR just started laying and the others cut back, or what in the world is going on!

    Sorry to be so long winded...would appreciate any advice!
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  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    The pale eggs are from the Barred Rock. RIR and I assume the New Hampshire too as it's breed was made from selectively breeding RIR lay darker eggs.

    You can make a saddle for the girls. It can be as simple as pot holder with straps to tie to the chicken. He's in his high sex drive teens. You may not have enough chickens to handle his amour but my roosters settled down after so many months of bare backed girls. They get better technique and don't have the need to constantly dominate them as they get older.

    If a chicken isn't broody then they wont accept chicks to care for.
     
  3. chicksneedhelp

    chicksneedhelp Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2013
    Thank you! I know just the potholder to repurpose!
     
  4. Bufster2

    Bufster2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2015
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    He's only mating two hens,maybe because the RIR puts up a fight?
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Why are you keeping the rooster? You say he's an Oops, so you didn't want one in the first place. I'd say get rid of him and your hens will look nicer and be happier. You really don't have enough girls to spread the lovin around enough. I'd seriously re-evaluate why you're keeping the rooster. You may like him, but is keeping him best for your flock?

    If you don't want more roosters, definitely don't hatch more chicks. If you're lucky enough to get a broody hen, you can slip sexed day old chicks under her and they'll usually graft to momma. If your hens don't go broody, they're likely to kill chicks, and even if they're not actively aggressive toward them they'll not mother them so the chicks will likely die anyway. You'll need a brooder set up and raise them up to a few months old before you add them to the flock. In my experience, it's not the rooster you have to watch out for with chicks, it's the mature hens.
     

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