Red Lights and Cock fights

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jay13, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Jay13

    Jay13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central NC
    I just installed red lights in my coop trying to fix the problem of the feather picking that is leaving so many feathers scattered throughout the coop. I have 20 chickens, I *think* I might have 5 roosters but hard to tell as they are still *teenagers* at 16-18ish weeks old

    [​IMG]

    I feed them catfood in addition to their free choice chicken feed and also have been giving them some meat scraps and such that were old in the freezer, they LOVED them. I have a 10x14' coop, 40 feet of roost space, and about 150sqft of outdoor space that they have access to during the daylight hours but seldom use for some reason. Many of the chickens have bald spots on their backs just above their tail feathers where their wings meet and I want to fix it.

    So when I installed the red lights I noticed that the chickens that I assume to be roosters got really aggressive toward each other. They were all part of the same flock when I got them so I thought their pecking order should already be established? I have had them for about 2 1/2 weeks now I think. Is this because of the lights? Or just them "growing up"? I know I will need to reduce the number eventually but wasn't sure when. I only have the lights on for about 12 hours per day. Any ideas?

    Thanks for all the help, you guys are awesome.

    Jay
     
  2. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    they look good, who did ya get em from?
    think there little male horomones are kicking in getting them ready for breeding?
     
  3. Master S.M.C

    Master S.M.C Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 23, 2009
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    It's not the light, there very helpful in calming the chickens. The breeds you own mature at a young age an your males are begining to fight showing their dominace to gain better chances at breeding in the near future.
     
  4. roosmom

    roosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jay13, I installed a red light in the coop and noticed a major reduction immediately, in the nit picking and fighting amonst themselves.
    My BO's are eight months old and have been laying eggs for a few months. I also noticed bald spots on the backs of a few of the hens. I came to the conclusion that it was because they were the FAVORITE hens ofthe roosters and they were getting trod on constantly!
    You might want to do a search on here about to find out about the pros and cons of feeding them catfood.
    I really hope you cooked the meat that was in the freezer. Not because they need gourmet food but because cooking the meat will kill anything that may be living in the meat!
    The amount of time the lights are on is fine. It may be possible that it is too cold for them outside right now.
    Hope this helps.
     
  5. moduckman

    moduckman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Cairo, Missouri
    Put a couple shovels of dirt in with them. If it is too cold to get that, go buy some top soil at the hardware store. Only $2.00 a bag. All chickens like dirt and it will settle them down. Try it.
     
  6. Jay13

    Jay13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central NC
    Thank you all for your responses,

    I purchased my chickens from a neighbor who hatches and raises them, he did the hard work with the brooding and such, I got to pick up half grown birds for about $4 each. I cant beat that deal with a stick.

    I checked em out this morning and they are all still alive thankfully. It looks like the behavior of these birds might be confirming my hunch as to which ones are the Roos and which are not.

    They have a dirt floor right now so I don't think I will need to be adding dirt to their coop just yet. [​IMG] They DO love to scratch around in it.

    I didn't think that chickens were so affected by cool weather as to not go out much... I am in central NC we have had temps in the 50s 60s here during the day, VERY nice out. Maybe they just need some time to get used to being ABLE to go out....

    Yes, I cooked the meat before they ate it, I guess I will have to do more research here on cat food. I got the idea from some of the feather picking threads as most of my chickens had huge bald spots when I got them.
     
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I see three I think are cockerals.

    You really have to thin them down or your issues will escalate as they mature.

    1 roo to 12 hens is plenty.
     
  8. Jay13

    Jay13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central NC
    Yes, the plan is to narrow it down to just the one cockerel. Up until now there was a question of just who was what. There have been 5 that are actively involved in the "who's the boss" games. I am just so sad seeing all the feathers scattered around the coop in the mornings.
     
  9. KSPixieChick

    KSPixieChick Out Of The Brooder

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    I have five barred rock roos that are the same age as yours. My rooster has a comb that is two inches tall and three in a half inches long. The hens I have seem to be maturing at different rates because two have combs that are red and 3/4" tall and the others are still small and pale.
     
  10. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    It's not the lights,it's the age.They are just seeing who is the bad boy of the coop.They are about the age to split apart if you want to avoid fights.It's natural though. Will
     

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