Rooster=Hen feather removal :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by OrloffTom, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. OrloffTom

    OrloffTom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had been noticing for a while now that my lone rooster has a "couple" favorites and they were starting to look a little rough with some feathers being lost. Now one of them has a bare patch on it's back. I know you can get the saddles but I really don't know anything about them other than they cover their back. Now, I'm noticing that the other girls are looking like there may be a few feathers missing. It looks like my roo may be getting his spurs soon as they are stuck out pretty good now. I really don't want to get rid of my roo as he's cool as all get out but it was accident when we got all our chickens. He was in the assorted pullets bin lol. Anyway, other than the saddles is/are there anything or alternatives that I can do. I don't really have the extra funds right now to get them all saddles (7 hens total, got them last April) but I'm willing to try and maybe get 1 a week until I can get them all one. I've not checked on pricing or anything. Does TSC sell them? Or best bet is just to call around to feed stores? Thanks in advance for your help [​IMG]
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Dig out a couple of old shirts and make them for free. All you need is scissors. Best are thicker knits such as sweatshirts or polarfleece.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=407575

    Or make them out of duct tape:

    http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/issues/1/1-6/Joyce_Dixon.html

    It's not the spurs doing the damage. They stand on their backs. Sometimes it helps to trim their nails. If they do damage with the spurs, it is more likely to be cuts on their sides. You can trim spurs off, too.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd be amazed if you found saddles at TSC, much less feed stores. You'd end up buying them on here, I imagine. I can't imagine an old fashioned chicken keeper putting a saddle on a hen.
     
  4. OrloffTom

    OrloffTom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much! I will ask my wife if she has some material like that laying around and hopefully I can get the girls outfitted before too much damage is done. When they get too dirty just take them off and wash?
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:I guess. One of mine has had a polarfleece saddle for months. I figure her feathers are like her overcoat so I'm not required to keep the saddle clean.... JMO of course. I know they don't remove the duct tape, they let it come off with the feathers or weather.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2011
  6. OrloffTom

    OrloffTom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Well, I had been holding off trying to do anything and just see if he "switched" around more to give the poor gal a break but he's not [​IMG]. I'm planning on this spring making their run bigger for them so maybe he'll have a tougher time getting them [​IMG].
     
  7. Lofty Dreams

    Lofty Dreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would put him in a cage
     
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Seperate the rooster away from the hens until you enlarge their pen and their feathers regrow. He'll complain, but it will not harm him and it sounds like the hens need a break. A little enforced celibacy will do everyone some good.[​IMG] You may even see an increase in egg production when the hens are less stressed.
     
  9. OrloffTom

    OrloffTom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your replies [​IMG]. Actually the egg production hasn't fallen off much since their peak in the late summer/early fall. I don't really have a way of separating him at this time but I think when I do the upgrade to the pen I'm gonna make a "holding" pen as well.
     
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    If you aren't planning on hatching eggs you certainly could(should) isolate him and give the poor girls a rest. I'm fairly certain that a BYCer put up a pattern for chicken saddles and diapers. Maybe you could search for that. You could probably make alot of them from a yard of fabric, as material comes pretty wide. The fabric places like Jo Ann's usually have 50% off sales frequently. Other than that you just use some elastic to hold it on around the wings.
     

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