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Rooster missing feathers - too cold for Winter??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by marvriel, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. marvriel

    marvriel Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2015
    I have a rooster who is just over 1 year old. The hens always lightly pick his feathers, and his neck is quite bare (can see a patch of skin the size of a few quarters), and he also is light on feathers elsewhere. Does anyone know if that is bad for the winter? I imagine it is, as it can be -25 celcius (-30 F?) a number of days a year. Just wondering if he will survive, or if I should get rid of him before the cold sets in?
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    At that age, I think he will molt and regrow his feathers before it gets that cold. I've got to wonder why the hens are picking at him, though.
     
  3. marvriel

    marvriel Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2015
    They have picked at him since day 1. It is not an aggressive pick though... it is like they are grooming him. Sometimes he stands tall, and just lets 5-8 hens gather around him and 'groom' him. It is almost like they just want to run his feathers through their beaks.

    I am assuming that is why he is losing the feathers. A lot of my hens have lost feathers too, but I think the other hens pick them more aggressively. My feeders are designed to make the chicken put their head in to eat, and when someone else wants in, they peck their backs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    How many chickens do you have in what sized area (feet x feet)? Also, what are they eating for feed?
     
  5. marvriel

    marvriel Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2015
    I have 44 hens and 1 rooster. The coop is about 30x18 and they have access to a good sized run during the days. I feed them almost exclusively layer mash, although they get some bread and leftover vegetables. I give them a bowl of oyster shells every couple of weeks, and I just gave them their first bowl of cat food. When I divide the treats and other stuff over 45 birds, they really do not get much.
     

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