Rooster pulling feathers off of my hens, is this normal?

Farmergyrl23

In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 6, 2011
17
0
22
I've noticed that my rooster is pulling the feathers off of my chickens heads and also their backs. Is this normal for roosters to do this when mating with the hens? Or do I just have an aggressive rooster....I just don't want my hens to get hurt . Thanks!
 

SIMZ

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 29, 2011
2,168
231
281
Northwest Indiana
I had the same concerns with my hens and found that it's probably normal if you have a rooster. You can buy aprons for your girls to protect their backs or separate the rooster for a while as well. The missing feathers really bother me and I'm working on a rooster pen to give my girls a break.
 

orumpoultry

Songster
7 Years
Jan 30, 2012
1,867
133
178
Trinity, TX
How old is the rooster? Is it just a few hens? Is he the only rooster in the pen? It sounds to me like he has picked some favorites and is over breeding the poor girls. SIMZ is right in suggesting hen aprons.They'll be really helpful with a rough rooster. If he's still a teen, he could just be over zealous.
 

Jeffross1968

Songster
8 Years
May 14, 2011
1,130
16
191
Smoky Mountains
We're having the same problems. He's only been mature a couple months, but he did some real damage to a few of them. We have 13 laying hens, but it's obvious he has a few favorites. We have two that have complete bald spots on their backs or wings. Pretty nasty.
 

RedDrgn

Anachronistic Anomaly
9 Years
May 11, 2011
1,318
93
211
West Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
When roosters mount hens, they hold on to the feathers on the back of their head and literally stand on their backs/wings. If a roo is doing this particularly often to a hen, it'll result in broken and missing feathers in those areas. It's normal because roos tend to play favorites even in large flocks (not so normal if he only has a few hens, though), but if they get too bald there is the risk of skin damage, so you may want to look into a chicken saddle and consider getting some Blue Kote for exposed skin on the head.

Now if you see a roo just plucking feathers from a hen for no apparent reason, then he should be culled.
 
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