Should the roo be separated?

lablover

Songster
7 Years
Apr 7, 2012
572
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I have 7 hens and 1 roo. 4 of the hens were raised with the roo, and they are about 1.5 years old. The roo is not aggressive towards people at all, but the oldest hens are missing quite a few feathers on their back. My concern is that winter is soon coming, and their bare back will get cold. Should the roo be separated to let them regrow their feathers, or will separating him cause more problems?
 

lablover

Songster
7 Years
Apr 7, 2012
572
11
124
Then they couldn't free range. I forgot to mention that in the first post.
 

Bullitt

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 16, 2012
2,380
451
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Texas
I have 7 hens and 1 roo. 4 of the hens were raised with the roo, and they are about 1.5 years old. The roo is not aggressive towards people at all, but the oldest hens are missing quite a few feathers on their back. My concern is that winter is soon coming, and their bare back will get cold. Should the roo be separated to let them regrow their feathers, or will separating him cause more problems?


Since you say the oldest hens are missing feathers, is it possible that these older hens are just molting? It is the most common time of year for molting.
 

lablover

Songster
7 Years
Apr 7, 2012
572
11
124
Bullitt, the feathers are broken and there are definite bare spots right on top of their back. They are still laying as well. What causes the broken feathers? Is it his spurs.

Also, I have yet to see a complete molt. About a month ago, I saw feathers laying around from everyone, so I assumed they were molting then. However, looking at them, you couldn't tell. I have EE's and a sex link if that makes any difference.

Also, this off topic, but I was looking at the feathers on the bottoms on my older hens compared to the pulleys that are starting to lay. The young ones have such nice, soft, fluffy feathers while the older ones are a bit saggy and more like a little pouch. Lol, what is the reason for that?
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
61,782
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southern Ohio
I would leave them alone together, especially if he is a good rooster. The hens will molt anytime now and grow in their new feathers. He will probably calm down now too since he is a little older. You could probably use 3-5 more hens for him, but I would just raise some chicks in the spring. Too many people on here keep getting sick chickens from other people who in turn, make their other chickens sick. I made my bareback girls little sweat shirts out of polarfleece one year. They were just in the shape of a hen apron, but had slits for the wings, which held them on.
 

Bullitt

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 16, 2012
2,380
451
251
Texas
Bullitt, the feathers are broken and there are definite bare spots right on top of their back. They are still laying as well. What causes the broken feathers? Is it his spurs.

Also, I have yet to see a complete molt. About a month ago, I saw feathers laying around from everyone, so I assumed they were molting then. However, looking at them, you couldn't tell. I have EE's and a sex link if that makes any difference.

Also, this off topic, but I was looking at the feathers on the bottoms on my older hens compared to the pulleys that are starting to lay. The young ones have such nice, soft, fluffy feathers while the older ones are a bit saggy and more like a little pouch. Lol, what is the reason for that?


Yes, it does sound like the rooster is causing the bare spots on the backs of your older hens. The rooster grabs the feathers on the back with his beak. You might separate the rooster from the hens for a while, or they sell hen saddles that are cloth and tie around a hen to protect the hen's back.

A hen can go through molt and still lay eggs, but the laying rate will at least greatly decrease.

There are soft molts and hard molts. A soft molt is where a hen loses feathers over time but you might not even notice it is molting. A hard molt is where the hen loses most or all of its feathers at one time.

I am not sure what you mean by hens' bottom feathers looking like a little pouch. I am guessing just because they are older hens.
 

lablover

Songster
7 Years
Apr 7, 2012
572
11
124
Eggcessive, sweatshirts sound adorable! Along with the four original hens, he has 3 young ones just starting to lay, but I actually am planning on getting a barred rock and black giant. The store that I always get chicks from has a few 4-6 months old, so I figured that those would be okay to get.

Bullitt, the older ones just look like they have a saggy little pouch, while the pullets are nice and firm. I don't know lol!
tongue.png
 

ChickenLegs13

Songster
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
1,401
194
143
Lower Alabama
Also, this off topic, but I was looking at the feathers on the bottoms on my older hens compared to the pulleys that are starting to lay. The young ones have such nice, soft, fluffy feathers while the older ones are a bit saggy and more like a little pouch. Lol, what is the reason for that?


Compare your own now vs. 20 years ago when you were a young pullet and you'll get the idea.
Hope this helps.
 

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