Sole rooster mousing feathers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by leahjapp, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. leahjapp

    leahjapp Hatching

    Dec 14, 2014
    We have 13 hens and one rooster (red rock cross breed). The rooster is missing most of his neck feathers and his comb is damaged. Would the hens be picking on him despite his size advantage? Ideas of what to do? We started with more roosters but butchered them. We kept one as our son wants to hatch eggs. Thanks for any ideas!
  2. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    It's possible for an aggressive hen to attack a rooster she doesn't like, more likely if he's timid. Or perhaps he got in a scuffle with a predator, assuming you free range.
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    All of my roosters, having had four at various times over the seven years I've been keeping chickens, were targets of feather picking by the hens. They would simply stand there and permit the hens to shave their neck and saddle feathers.

    I really had a hard time figuring out why they would just hold still for this abuse. I've observed that the roosters all adored the hens, and the hens all adored the roosters. There certainly was no malicious intent.

    So, what I finally concluded was that they had feathers on their necks and saddles that were very fine and slender, and therefore were particularly attractive to the hens, colorful and rich in pattern. Sometimes the feathers were eaten, but most often, the pretty plucked feathers would be left lying around.

    Currently, there are no roosters in my flock so this has ceased to be a problem, but I never did come up with a way to get the hens to leave those pretty rooster feathers on the rooster.
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Mine did too, not the saddle feathers, but the neck feathers. Was not mean or aggressive, didn't bother him, but just couldn't resist.

    Mrs K

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