Rooster having too much fun with my hens...

Want Less

Songster
9 Years
Mar 24, 2010
376
5
123
New Bern, NC
Spring is in the air, and our 11 month old rooster is quite happy about it. He's with 5 hens of the same age and though he's been trying to figure out this whole breeding thing for several months now, he's got the swing of it and, well, stays busy.

The problem is that he is tearing our hens' backs to pieces. It started with broken feathers appearing on their backs just above their tails (on some more than others, he apparently has his favorite girls) and now it has progressed to bare spots and scratches on some. Here's an example of one of our hens:

IMG00955-20110224-1322.jpg


A week or so ago, we took him out of the coop and put him in another coop by himself. He did nothing but pace and pout and crow, then refused to go in at night and insisted instead on roosting outside in the pen. At his age, his spurs are not big but they were forming points so we took him to the vet and got a good lesson on how to trim them (she preferred using a dremel, which worked great). Hoping that would solve the problem, we put loverboy back in with the girls.

Unfortunately he's still damaging their backs when he's breeding. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what we can or should do next? Would trimming his toe nails help any?

Also, is there anything we should be applying to the scratches on the hens backs? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!
 

ranchhand

Rest in Peace 1956-2011
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
13,295
85
291
SC
I agree with the saddles. But have you considered getting some more hens? Five hens are really not enough for a newly matured rooster. The usual recommended ratio is 10 hens to one rooster.
You can use a triple antibiotic ointment with out any 'caine painkillers on the scratches, or BluKote.
 

Want Less

Songster
9 Years
Mar 24, 2010
376
5
123
New Bern, NC
Quote:
He was an accidental rooster... haha... We were supposed to have six girls
wink.png
We are adding to the flock but only by a few a year so that we dont end up with a whole yard of non-laying chickens down the road. We have 3 chicks that should be arriving Monday.

Is it bad for him to remove him from the flock for a while? Would he eventually settle down if he's still nearby the girls' coop? We're building a new big pen that we can easily divide as needed, but for now we just have two separate (but movable) coops that we could put side by side.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
345
661
SW Arkansas
Quote:
He was an accidental rooster... haha... We were supposed to have six girls
wink.png
We are adding to the flock but only by a few a year so that we dont end up with a whole yard of non-laying chickens down the road. We have 3 chicks that should be arriving Monday.

Is it bad for him to remove him from the flock for a while? Would he eventually settle down if he's still nearby the girls' coop? We're building a new big pen that we can easily divide as needed, but for now we just have two separate (but movable) coops that we could put side by side.

It won't kill him to seperate him, but he's not going to be a happy camper. A roo lives for his hens.
 

7L Farm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
4,635
86
231
Anderson, Texas
I threw my rooster in jail & he just paced back & forth. He wouldn't eat. I'd throw a treat to him he would make that weird sound & try & feed it to the girls who weren't even there. Crazy bird.
 
Last edited:

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
345
661
SW Arkansas
Quote:
Not crazy, just devoted to his hens. A good roo that treats his girls right is a wonderful thing to observe.
 

mulewagon

Songster
9 Years
Nov 13, 2010
690
8
128
Alabama
I have my roosters inside the pen, inside rings of dogwire (2" x 4"). They can still call the hens over for treats, and the hens stick their heads inside. The boys don't seem to understand why they can't jump on the hens' backs, but they don't seem bothered, either. The girls roam around them and they feel like part of the flock. (I do have to make sure they have enough food, because the girls want what the boys have!)
 

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