Tennessee new to raising and needs some help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by atzchicks, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. atzchicks

    atzchicks In the Brooder

    Oct 25, 2008
    We got our little man some babys at Easter 3 years ago, then a few more the next year and a few more this last year. On top of that we had 1 hen laying and didn't want us to take the 14 eggs that my teenagers didn't gather because she was on them. She hatched all 14 before she would get up. Now we have 21 total. There all fairly big now so my daughter says we have adults, teenagers and toddlers. So my problems are I have 3 adult roosters that have chosen there select few of the hens and they have torn almost all the feathers off some and all from 2 of there backs were they mount them, does anyone have any ideas of how to keep this from happening? One of the hens actually got her side completely cut open from top of back under wing to the bottom, but I took care of her and put her back together and got her healed. now there starting it again. I noticed that 2 of the roosters have this claw looking nail on the inside of the leg just above the feet, could that be what's causing the damage and what are those called? The other rooster doesn't have that. The other question is I have one hen that looks like her eye is gray in the center of her pupil, she can see but I don't think her sight is good, any ideas? And last my coop is I gonna say probably a 6 x 8 building and the pen is 10 x 12 with a 5 foot partially covered roof is that large enough?
  2. Nemo

    Nemo Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    Let's start with the coop... 6x8 is 48 square feet (sqft). The standard suggestion is 4 sqft of floor space per bird. So, if there wasn't anything taking up floor space in the coop, it would be good for up to about 12 birds. Up here in Wisconsin, we like even a little more room inside, because the birds spend most of the winter cooped up.

    The run... 10x12 is 120 sqft. The standard suggestion is 10 sqft per bird. So, your run is also good for about 12 birds.

    If chickens are given enough space, then they start to get irritable, just like people would. They fight and pick at each other.

    The "claw" on a rooster is called a spur. It definitely can cut up a hen if it gets too long and sharp. You can trim it down. But, like a dog's claws, it has a living center called the quick. My rooster isn't old enough to need a trim, so I don't remember how much you can take off. Search for the answer.

    You can reduce the number of roosters you have, that way there is less "attention" for each hen. Of course, the roos seem to pick out a couple favorites, and spend more time with them.

    You can also make / buy "saddles" for your hens. It's a piece of fabric that covers their backs to protect them.

    I also heard about somebody hobbling a rooster last weekend, but didn't get any information. I guess if his feet are sort of tied together, he can't get atop the hens.

    I don't know about the hen with the gray spot in here eye. I'm still in my first year.

    Hopefully that's enough info until somebody else answers.

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