Should the roo be separated?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lablover, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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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?
     
  2. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like the old hens need a break form the roster. I'd boot the 4 bareback hens to a different pen and leave the roster and the 3 other hens together.
     
  3. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Then they couldn't free range. I forgot to mention that in the first post.
     
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are going to have to separate the bareback hens from the rooster one way or another if you want their feathers to grow back. Which ever way you do it won't create any problems.
     
  5. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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.
     
  6. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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?
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    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.
     
  8. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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.
     
  9. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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![​IMG]
     
  10. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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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