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Rooster too big for hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mcdaid36, May 1, 2009.

  1. mcdaid36

    mcdaid36 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Putnam County, NY
    My laying hens are a few different breeds - Dominiques, SL Wyandottes, Delaware and Americaunas. The rooster we have is a Buff Orpington, and he's just joined the flock a few months ago. Both the rooster and hens are about the same age, just about a year now. The rooster is much bigger than the hens, and they're starting to show some "wear and tear." About half the hens are loosing feathers on their back and neck, and one is losing the feathers on her wings. I know I can put some chicken saddles on them, but that won't help the one with the featherless wings. I'm wondering if the rooster is just too big for the hens and is causing them too much stress and strain. He's a little less than double their size. Thoughts?
     
  2. aberfitch

    aberfitch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2008
    Texas Fort Worth
    you may need to seperate them till the hens get bigger. Or you will need to get a chicken saddle. its like a back pack or vest that the hen wears so the roosters sprus and claws don't damage their backs. [​IMG]
     
  3. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Maybe he just needs a few more hens...
     
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I'm a believer in either no roo, or a smaller-than-the-hens rooster.

    You've already got 4 breeds with the hens and the roo is something else again. Why not go smaller?

    I had an Ameraucana roo who was fine with my Australorp hens. And, probably the best choice was a Hamburg roo. He weighed half of what the hens weighed but carried himself well and didn't look odd.

    Despite the reputation of a Hamburg for flightiness, Gabe wasn't going anywhere because his frumpy dumpy hens weren't goin' anywhere . . . or at least, they weren't going anywhere fast.

    And, Gabe was the boss - good-looking, too.

    . . . just my 2ยข.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Very large roosters can be a problem, even if his hens are his own breed. For instance, my humongous Blue Orp rooster, Suede, has injured two hens, even with his spurs trimmed and blunted. His tremendous weight makes it harder for him to grip, so when he tried to balance, he sure digs in. It's the only bad thing about Suede, because he isn't an aggressive mater at all, just a huge load and stress on the girls.
     
  6. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Is it possible theres just not enough hens for him? Sounds like theyre getting overused.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Even when you have more than enough hens, they can still need saddles. I have a rooster with over 31 hens. Some are still bare and alot of that is due to molting on top of rooster damage in the saddle area. Some have no damage, but it's because they do not squat willingly for him most of the time. Saddles do help alot- I need about 10 more than I have. [​IMG]
     
  8. mcdaid36

    mcdaid36 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Putnam County, NY
    Thanks for the replies!

    This one rooster has a flock of 16 hens. He seems to take advantage of my Americaunas because they are very docile and low on the pecking order. His spurs are still very small, I guess because he is young. It's more his big feet and claws that try to balance on the smaller hens and they just tear the feathers right off. I'll have to try the saddles, and modify one to cover the tops of the wings for one hen. They are also starting to loose the feathers on the back of their necks from him holding on to them.
     
  9. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    go packers! [​IMG]
     

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