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rooster damage to the hen :(

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jgervais, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. jgervais

    jgervais Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have one really great big Dorking rooster and 9 lovely hens he cares for. 2 hens are broody right now so are out of the everyday flock activities for a few weeks.

    The rooster in terms of roosters is really a nice one and cares for his hens well. He leads them around the yard and brings them back in safe at night.
    He is so big though that he is really doing some damage to their back feathers and I don't know what to do about it. I want the rooster to breed the Dorking hens a few times a year. And hes great to have around the yard. But one of my barred rocks backs was so bare I sent her home with my mom to keep with her chickens and give her a break. Now I'm noticing 3-4 other hens whose backs are really showing wear and I do not want their backs to become as bare as the barred rock.

    Is keeping the roo separate my only option? I clipped his nails a few weeks ago, but that didn't seem to help much.
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Could you get him some more hens? That will help sometimes. Also, look in the sale section called "Everything Else". They have hen saddles there. They're really cute, they're kind of a fitted cape that goes over their back (under the wings), and they protect the hens, so their feathers can grow back. They come in cute fabrics!

    They're not expensive and they do a great job. I use them myself.

    Sharon
     
  3. jgervais

    jgervais Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you just leave a saddle on the hen all of the time? It doesnt bother her?
     
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Also, you don't want to send any hens over to your mom's place. The reason is, none of the chickens will know her. Since chickens are very territorrial, the others will be very agressive towards her, and she will have to go through the pecking order process, which is way more unpleasant than having the feathers worn off by a rooster.......

    Just wanted to share that.
    Sharon
     
  5. 1 lucky dad

    1 lucky dad Out Of The Brooder

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    If your happy with your rooster, you have a couple of choices. You can seperate them and only put them together when you want fertile eggs. You can put saddles on the hens. You can get more hens to reduce some of the ware and tare. I seperate mine and have a bachelor pad for them and allow them to free range all day. The hens are in a fenced area. These boys spend 90 % of there time near the fence and dont stray to far from there hens.
     
  6. jgervais

    jgervais Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeh we're finding that out. I actually gave her 2 hens so she has a 'buddy' to hang with. The barred rock adjusted very well into pecking order but the other one i sent along is some mutt breed of a dorking and is a skinny, flighty white bird. Shes having a hard time adjusting. My moms trying to convince me to 'put her down' so shes not stressed but Im quite sure it will work out and my mom is over exaggerating. The white mutt isnt hurt at all, just having a rough time getting to the feeder without being chased around... hopefully that will work out soon. :-/ #chickendrama
     
  7. jgervais

    jgervais Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just wanted everyone to get a long and free range like I see in Mother Earth News :) haha

    I hate to make the rooster live alone. But maybe just making a bachelor pad he can go into for a week or two to give everyone a break will help.

    What does mites look like? Since all the damage is on the back and hes a huge Roo im assuming its from him and not feather loss from mites, but im not really sure what mites would look like either.
     
  8. jgervais

    jgervais Chillin' With My Peeps

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    another thought - will molting make a difference to the damage from the rooster? A few of the younger hens in the flock look beautiful, but my older ones are looking ragged. Maybe a few are in molt and the roo isnt helping?
     
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I kind of think it is the molt, myself. Last summer, we went through a spell where my chickens looked awful, it did not seem to bother them, but it did kind of me. But I figured that I let them free range quite a bit, and if they were not acting sick, to go with it. One day, they didn't look so bad, then the feathers grew back, very beautiful, same rooster, same space. no separation.

    This year, as my pullets are approaching their year birthday, I notice they are looking a little ragged while the other hens look fine - same space, same roo.

    MrsK
     

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