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Problem I have never experienced before.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mahlzeit, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had chickens for quite a few years now and have never had the issue that I have now. I have a 3 year old Americauna rooster that was hatched on my property. He has been the man of the flock for 2 years now and this year during the moult he was allowing the hens to pick at his feathers. So bad that I had to separate him because he was starting to bleed. I kept him in a run adjacent to the main run until his moult was complete. I put him back in and he does his dominance dance around all the hens but then the hens actually go looking around his tail where they were pecking at him during the moult. They remembered and then one or 2 will come up and peck at his feathers and he allows it. I don't understand why he stands there still as can be and allows them to peck at him. Any ideas? He is definitely master of the roost because they will crouch for him to mount them but then after he will allow them to peck at him. He is a beautiful rooster and very fertile i would love to keep him but if he keeps allowing them to peck him until he bleeds I can't.
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

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    Are your girls getting enough protein?
     
  3. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah,is there enough protein?Is there any blood showing.I have had this problem before too.When chickens see bare skin sometimes on their buddies they tend to peck,why no idea.
     
  4. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes they get enough protein and they do not peck at each other. They also never pecked him before this fall. There is no skin showing I kept him separate until all his feathers came back in from his moult.
     
  5. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nobody has any insight?
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    It's more common than you think, and it's happened in my flock, and no, I have no insight as to why a virile rooster would allow hens to prey on his feathers with no objections. If you ever discover why he allows this to occur, please let us know because there are a lot of us who would love to know the answer.

    You have already addressed the problem in the best way you can. Separate the rooster from the hens and give them a good long time to forget their fixation on his feathers. But make sure, if you do, that the rooster won't back up to the fence to make it easy for the hens to nibble on him through the mesh.

    Your hens may have found the pin feathers tasty during his molt and now it's become a habit or fixation. Interrupting the habit long enough for the hens to forget is really the best chance you have of stopping this so it doesn't go on forever. I'm thinking it may take a year of separation to accomplish this. Of course, if you need him to breed the hens, put one hen at a time in with him and remove the hen once the mission is accomplished.
     
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I would cull the offending hen(s) if it's one or two of them. That's more common in some breeds than others, and not a behavior that needs to be bred on. Mary
     
  8. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I agree, culling of a few hens may solve the problem.
     
  9. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't.I wouldl give her away.She is nice and probably lay eggs,so givinging hera way to soemone would help you.
     
  10. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's not just 1 hen its numerous hens and they are all young hens which I plan on keeping for another 2 years for egg production. I will see how he looks in the morning. If he is all tattered I guess I will have to make soup with him. Keeping him separate is a pain because I have to physically put him out for the day and in for the night.
     

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