Rooster abuse?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by enggass, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. enggass

    enggass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey all,
    I have had chickens for many years, but finally have an adult rooster. All other roosters I had due to hatching were released prior to mating days. I have one rooster and 5 hens. Which I know is a low ratio. Please tell me if the pictures show feather loss due to rooster abuse or molting. Started small and has gotten worse. Pictures 1 and 2 are hen in question… Picture number 3 is another hen which Im pretty sure is due to rooster, but the first couple of pictures the hen looks worse…

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    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Looks more like feather picking, especially the ones bottom. Rooster wear will be similar but by the time they are that naked they also have bare patches on the top part of the wings usually. The bottom never gets bald like that.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    First, it wouldn't be abuse on the part of the rooster. He's just mating. Not his fault the hen gets bare backed.

    Okay, that said, I don't think it's rooster damage either. Well, he may be contributing to the bare spot on the back, but not under the tail. There's nothing he does during mating that would break/damage/remove feathers in that area.

    My thoughts are perhaps picking, or mites.


    Some hens simply have more brittle feathers, and they break easily. We all know ladies with fragile hair, that get split ends so easy, or their hair just never looks healthy. Same for birds. You can try boosting protein, if that's the case. It may help, but in some cases the hens just always look tattered.

    But addressing the root of the issue will be necessary first.
     
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  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the second photo the hen appears to have an abnormal abdominal swelling to me....maybe ascites...worth checking her over.
    I also would have expected to see bare patches on the shoulders if it was rooster damage, so I agree that there is probably something else going on.
     
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  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    I too do not think rooster damage. I also noticed the bare bottomed hen looking swollen.

    How old are they? Ever wormed them? Possible mites and another issue for the hen.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yes, how old.......and what and how exactly are you feeding??
     
  7. enggass

    enggass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    2 years old. Feeding layer pellets and some occasional scratch. Free range at times... she is eating and drinking fine. Even laying.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
  8. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That does look like rooster damage on the back, because there is not always feather damage on the shoulder/wing area. The feather loss to the bottom is not from a rooster, and I agree that her abdomen looks swollen and needs to be checked out.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They will be 2yo in spring?
    Did they molt last fall?

    The one in pic 2 above is laying, and that apparently fat belly is not squishy and.or swollen?
    Might just be the camera angle that makes her look swollen, but I'd get my hands on it to be sure.

    Might need to up their protein, layer feed is kind of low in that regard and it could help if there is feather eating going on.
     
  10. enggass

    enggass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    2 this spring. Got them from someone last fall just as they were about to molt. The move stifled the molt and it never happened. Haven't felt the belly. Looks a bit swollen, yes...
     

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