poor bare backed hens!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HillCountryMomma, May 13, 2008.

  1. HillCountryMomma

    HillCountryMomma Songster

    Mar 16, 2008
    Almost all my poor hens are 'bare backed' to one degree or another. I've had a rooster with them since they were pullets, and this is the first time they've ever really gone bare like this (they are over a year old now).

    I have 14 hens, one rooster. It's driving me crazy looking at them! They look so pathetic.

    My rooster (RIR) is a rather big guy, is he just too heavy and stripping the girls feathers off? Is this spring molting? Any hope for them having feathers again without getting rid of my rather amorous rooster?

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Look up "chicken saddles" and that may help. If your one roo got 14 hens bald! Boy he's one stud! Usually they have favorites. Might also look into upping the protein in their feed to encourage feather growth, and checking for mites/lice to make sure that it is the rooster and not something else.
  3. coopist

    coopist Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    Midwest U.S.
    I've seen this before. Sometimes an active, heavy roo can really do a number on a small flock. I've noticed that bigger hens tend to fare a little better. Sorry, I've never tried chicken saddles, so don't know anything about them, but it might be worth a try. For me, I'd probably replace the rooster.
  4. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    Mine, too. I also have a flock of 14 one of those being a rooster. My poor BO are bare. There are 2 that are really bad that I put some blukote on. It's toooooo hot here to make them wear saddles.
  5. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Make sure you watch so he doesn't tear them up. Once he draws blood they may start pecking and can kill each other. On the other hand, some of mine are our roosters favorites and while bare backed have no problems.

    If you decide you want saddles follow the link in my sig and you will find patterns for sew and no sew saddles.
  6. Country Gal

    Country Gal Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    Thank God I'm not alone on this one! All my girls are bare backed too. My roosters are studs - King will go from hen to hen to hen... Fric and Frac (affectionately referred to as the gang bang twins) will both go after a hen at the same time and I'm pretty sure will be on the list to go the the processor on my next trip...
  7. farm_mom

    farm_mom Songster

    Mar 11, 2008
    We usually have a few bare backers here too. Something you should keep in mind is the ugliest hens are usually the best layers. The put more of their energies into laying than growing back feathers. We've had girls here who never really grew back their feathers well or at all after being de-feathered by the roo, or after a molt. Even with the extra protein and a cover. So, you may need to learn to like the bedraggled looking hens, they're doing good by you!! [​IMG] It's those beauties you have to watch out for!![​IMG]
  8. I have 12 RIR hens and 1 roo. all my hens are bare backed, I have tried saddles, didn't work,tried extra protein, didn't work, tried extra wheat slices for them to scratch in, didn't work,but i get a doz eggs a day. They are just pitifully looking, noticed one of my hens had some of the feathers pulled out of her head if he starts that I will turn him out and just let him go but he is so pretty and so big I really hate to do that, esp with GD dogs around. My dogs ignore them
  9. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    farmer kitty, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the patterns. I copied them off just now and have to make some up for my roo's "fav" hens who are shamefully nude on their backs. Poor things get sunburned, too.
  10. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    You're welcome! Many have had this problem so I just put the page together from the different posts I've seen.

    P.S.-If someone has a different pattern they would like added to the page please PM me and I will try to add it in!
    Last edited: May 14, 2008

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