rooster thinks saddles are the enemy

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ravenseye57, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. ravenseye57

    ravenseye57 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    Some of my girls are barebacked due to too much rooster attention. I removed my large Light Brahma roo from the flock leaving my New Hampshire Red roo and 20 ladies. I had a friend make me a couple of chicken saddles to protect the hens that lost all of the feathers on their backs, but when I put them on Rick the rooster goes nuts. He chases the hen around, grabbing at the saddle and trying to pull it off. He got one off and then "killed" it and I removed the other myself because I was afraid he'd injure the hen. Has anyone heard of such a thing? Any suggestions on how to get him to stop attacking the saddles?
     
  2. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    Georgia
    [​IMG] from Ga. I don't know the answer but it is a good question. Rooster's are a trip.
     
  3. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    [​IMG]
    Poor girls. You May have to seperate the boys from the girls so the girls can heal up.
    Never know what goes through those chicken brains.
     
  4. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    I would put the saddles on the hens and put the rooster in a cage where he can see the hens but not get to them. He's just doing that because it is something 'new' and it's in his place, once he gets used to it he should ignore it.

    ETA: Or you could try trimming the roos' toenails and spurs, that would help so they don't tear all the feathers off the girls' backs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  5. ravenseye57

    ravenseye57 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    Thanks for the replies. I hate to separate Rick from his girls because he's a very good roo other than the current silliness. He's very protective and helped save one of the hens from a hawk last fall. The cage is a good idea. Maybe we'll just have to eat the Light Brahma roo, he's worthless as a flock master anyway. I was just hoping to use him for breeding for a season to give the flock more diversity. If I get rid of him then Rick could go in that pen for a while (it's just a fenced off corner of the chicken's fenced area) until he gets used to the saddles.
     
  6. ravenseye57

    ravenseye57 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    Thanks for the welcome terrilhb [​IMG]
     
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I agree with shelley's suggestions, but I also wonder if the rooster would react that way if the saddles were close in color to the hens' own feathers??? Could it be the contrast in color that really draws his eyes/raises his hackles???
     
  8. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    What a picture, thanks for the laugh! Are your saddles colorful? [​IMG]

    I have noticed my roo getting a little too rowdy lately as well. Since I give everyone treats an hour or so before dark, I put the girls up and lock loverboy out of the run until after sunset. did it that way for a week. After dark when everyone was roosting he got a ride into the coop from me. Tonight when putting everyone up he seemed real chastened and didn't even look sideways at the girls so I let him stay. I guess I caved due to the miserable snow and wind.

    We'll see.
     
  9. ravenseye57

    ravenseye57 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    I don't think it's the spurs that are the problem, the roos spurs aren't very big or sharp yet (they're still young). I've read that if you trim nails it just makes shorter sharp edges unless you file them (and they grow back fast). Have you tried it? Did it work for you? Anyway, I think the problem was Benny the huge Light Brahma roo, so now it's just a matter of letting them heal. One of the worst off hens is already showing little black feather tips poking through the skin, but the other could really use help. She's all red and scratched up. I'm afraid they'll freeze in the cold weather we're having here too (expecting highs in the single:( digits and below zero at night this weekend.
    I just remembred I have a old dog crate that I can put Benny in and keep him in the shed for a while so then Rick can go in the pen at least during the day. I'm afraid his comb will freeze if he has to spend the nights alone. It's very cold here. [​IMG]
     
  10. ravenseye57

    ravenseye57 Out Of The Brooder

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    "I agree with shelley's suggestions, but I also wonder if the rooster would react that way if the saddles were close in color to the hens' own feathers??? Could it be the contrast in color that really draws his eyes/raises his hackles???"

    I wondered the same thing. One is white and the other is dark blue and he hates them both. I took a black marker and made a sort of feather pattern on the white one. No go. He ripped it off and "killed" it again.
    So now Benny is in the crate in the shed and Rick is in the pen in the yard. I gave his comb and wattles a good coating of vaseline, and it's a good thing too since it got down to -8 the first night he was out there. He too seems quite chastened by the whole experience, like your roo wood&feathers, and he isn't making his warning call when he sees the saddles anymore. I'm thinking I'll wait till the girls are outside getting their treats tomorrow and close up the coop and try letting him out where I can supervise if he gets rowdy.

    I like your idea of locking him out in the evening when he's randy too, although I really think most of the damage was from having two roos for twenty hens. The favored girls just took too much of a beating.
     

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