tattered hens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by brbaks, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. brbaks

    brbaks New Egg

    Jan 10, 2014
    Bear with us 'newbies' as we toss out questions. But now that our roosters have discovered their oats....our girls are looking pretty well worn on their backs and lots of lost feathers, etc. Mostly in the center of their backs. No wounds or broken skin, just ratty looking. I know they sell aprons and stuff but is there really anything that can be done or is it just the way it is if you keep roosters around. Always open to suggestions - thanks!
  2. ChicknsRock

    ChicknsRock Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 4, 2013
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    If you keep your hen to rooster ratio correct, that shouldn't happen. They recommend 10 hens to one rooster, so if you have more roosters than that, this is what happens.

    I've only had this happen once when the ratio was correct and that was when I had some Buff Orpingtons, which are so docile and eager that they were presenting themselves to the roosters over and over and the other hens weren't getting any action. I culled the BOs and everything went back to normal...but, normally, you should never seen rooster wear on your hens. If all your hens are showing this wear and tear, regardless of breed, you have too many roosters.

    Time to lose the roos.
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You can either pen the roosters separately in their own pen (bachelor pen) or keep only one roo per 10 hens to see if that helps. The boys should get along OK if there are no girls to fight over, I have read (unless they are certain breeds who are known to not get along with other males).

    The girls will enjoy a break from the constant mating if they have feather loss from overmating.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC. It sounds as if you may not have enough hens. Young cockerels/roosters can be rough on hens until they develop manners. Some remain unmannerly and should end up in the crock pot.
  6. brbaks

    brbaks New Egg

    Jan 10, 2014
    Thanks for all the help. We had 8 hens for each roo to start with but 2 of our girls didn't make it. We have a mix of Buff O's and Australops. Everybody seemed to do well even though we weren't at 10 per roo even when they stared getting frisky. Until the recent roo wars and now the 'pullet porn' - Seems cold weather makes 'em even friskier. Think we're gonna figure out a way to split our roos.
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    I'm betting your BOs are much more ragged than your BAs. [​IMG]
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop

    I agree on the need for more hens. Less wear and tear on a few hens.

    Great to have you aboard and enjoy BYC!

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