Too much roster love?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by newchick13, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. newchick13

    newchick13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    177
    0
    89
    Jul 26, 2011
    Somers NY
    I noticed that one of my EE hens Emily has a bare patch just above her tail feathers. The area is about 3 inches long and 2 inches wide. I am pretty sure it is from too much attention from one of our roosters. I just ordered two saddles online, but it will take a few days to get here. Has anyone used duct tape successfully? I am thinking that might be my only option since I need to protect her ASAP. Wouldn't the tape hurt her skin? I did give her a good spray with blu-kote to keep the others from pecking her tonight until I can figure something out for her.

    I also am thinking that I'll have to get rid of one of my roosters to prevent this from happening to my other girls. I have 2 roosters and 11 hens, so I am pretty sure the ratio is off, but how do I choose which one? Do I keep the more "masculine" one because he's a good protector or the nicer one that is clearly a wimp? Do I choose beauty over function? The prettier one is the ruler of the roost, my EE and the other one is a NH with HUGE comb and wattles which might be problematic in the winter with frostbite. UGH...I feel like either way I lose.
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    So is your primary reason for having a rooster protection??
     
  3. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

    493
    10
    111
    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    I would not use duct tape.... the skin is already irritated and tender... wait for the "saddle"...

    I have saddles, aprons on several of my hens... some don't like them much. And, if you get the wrong size or type they won't like them.

    One rooster is enough for eleven hens.. but, one rooster is all I have for more hens than that and still his favorites have completely bare backs and bits of feathers on the wings missing too... on the wing part closest to the back.

    I have not had the others peck at the hen's bare backs ever. Blu Kote is good.. just rubs off and does not really protect, only good to prevent infection if there is a cut or irritation. Just wait for the saddles / aprons.. they will help if the hen tolerates them well. Make sure to get the strap evenly spaced on each side, not tighter on one side than the other. And, sometimes the apron "flips up" when the rooster mates with them -- it will flip back down on its own usually.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

    493
    10
    111
    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    As for the roosters... the one I have is HUGE.. and beautiful, "just" a Barred Rock.. but, he is so big and a great protector. Really takes good care of his flock. I am thinking of replacing him.. but, I love him... he's just too big and hard on the hens.

    I think that for me... the most important thing to start with is that the rooster is NOT aggressive at all... and, I can kinda tell -- with the young ones raised from chicks that will go to freezer camp soon.. which one will be a "good rooster" and which will not... some stand out.

    Protector is important.. aggression is a reason to get rid of a rooster. If both are good, non-aggressive.. which one do the hens prefer? There was only one time I tried to have a second one for a while.... and the hens made their choice clear.

    Unless you can have two coops, runs, separate into two flocks.... still you will need aprons/saddles. You can also trim the spurs, but that does not prevent the feather loss on the girls backs.

    Hard decisions... up to you.

    Good luck
     
  5. newchick13

    newchick13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    177
    0
    89
    Jul 26, 2011
    Somers NY
    teach,
    I really only have the roosters because that's what I ended up with. I only wanted hens to begin with but since we've had them since day one, we are very much attached. I don't need fertilized eggs since I have no intentions of hatching eggs myself. That being said I do like the way they kind of keep everyone in line. One is better than the other at this, but he is the aggressive mater. I've actually seen him "yell" at the other for trying to mate. Neither one has ever been in any way aggressive with me or my kids. Right now they are not free ranging because I'm afraid of predators..especially hawks, we have quite a few.

    '
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, an aggressive mater, even with a large flock, could keep their backs bare. Some roosters are just more gentle than others, and some hens are favorites and get used a lot, and some hens have better feather quality than others. Some rooster don't wear backs even with just a few hens [​IMG]
    Your lead rooster is being just that when it comes to the subordinate one, he's being the dominant roo, and so isn't allowing the sub. to mate (at least in front of him...lol). He's not being mean, that's just how roosters are.
    If your main concern is your hens looking raggedy, then I'd go with whichever rooster seems gentler with them (calls them for treats, doesn't get aggressive if a hen doesn't squat/submit, etc.). It's kind of hard to judge your subordinate rooster on his qualities, because he will most likely behave differently (whether it be mating or predator patrol) if he is the only (therefore lead) rooster. Since you're not looking for fertilized eggs, at least rooster genetics won't have to factor in.
    Maybe pen your lead roo for a week or so and see how #2 does with the hens??? Then decide from there...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by