Why does my roo look so bad? Is it the hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bdagenais, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. bdagenais

    bdagenais In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2008
    Spring Hill, FL
    I have attached some pics of my RIR Roo, Fred. He is almost 2 years old. He is a real sweet heart and was once a BEAUTIFUL Roo. Within the last 6 months (approx) he has started to get very ragged looking. The hens did a number on his rump so I moved him to a pen next to the main pen. I did put 5 easy going hens in with him(he would have it no other way). I thought after some time he would feather back in fine. His feathers have grown in but they are not all back and the few that have are very rough looking. He was once a very beautiful Roo (see my avatar). Am I over reacting or is there something possibly going on I am not aware of? I hate to see him in this state. He is great otherwise, he just looks real bad. Could someone please tell me what is possibly going on with my poor baby, Fred? It breaks my heart to see him like this. He is such a great roo.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. chickens112

    chickens112 Songster

    Aug 10, 2008
    Cuero Tx
    I had one hen that was picking the feathers of my rooster too. Most of the picking is probably done during the roosting time in the evening so that would be the time to catch the hen or hens in the act. And it is up to you to decide what to do. You could try and add more protein to their diet and see if that helps.
  3. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Are these recent pictures? If so, and it's kind of heard to tell from the picture, but it looks like the pecking is still going on? He looks raw around the rear in one of them?

    Free ranging is usually the best treatment for feather picking/plucking or cannibalism. If that's not possible (and even if it is), I would cut out all snacks that are not high in protein. Add mown grass, raked leaves, straw, or something to the run that they can scratch and pick through - and throw something like Black Oil Sunflower seeds through out it so they have something to keep busy with.

    Pine tar is very messy - but I have had luck with it. Apply it thickly to the picked on areas. It'll help the area heal, and tastes very nasty to most chickens, so they'll stop pecking at it and they will not ingest it. You may have to reapply daily, or every two days or so.

    If you do a search on feather picking, feather plucking, or cannibalism, you'll see there are many threads on the subject and a lot of good advice.

    Best of luck,
  4. Ellie_NY_chick

    Ellie_NY_chick Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Finger Lakes, NY
    I have had good luck with something called "Hot Pick". I got it at Agway. Make sure you don't get it in anyone's eyes! I've also used Blue Kote, but it makes a horrendous mess and I didn't think it worked as well, but it is a fungicide because it has blue gentian in it.

    I guess a combo of both wouldn't hurt. Good luck - that poor guy has a sore tookus.
  5. bdagenais

    bdagenais In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2008
    Spring Hill, FL
    Thanks for all the good advice. I have tried OTC meds for picking in the past on him and some of the hens. All it seemed to do was turn their rumps purple. I will try the pine tar and see what good it will do. I was very worried that maybe he had picked up a mite or fungus somehow? Although, I don't know how it is very dry where we are in florida. So I really didn't know what to think other than picking. Iwould hate to take all his little ladies away. I have tried to mix their layer with a 10% all grain mixture for extra protein. Obviously this is not enough. Would it be okay to place the spent hay around the horses' hay area in their pen to encourage scratching and picking through it. The only thing is the horses have releived themselves some on the edges of the hay area. I can't imagine this would hurt them. Please give me your thoughts.
    Thanks again.
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    10% grain mixture? As in 10% protein grain?

    I would try upping protein by finding a game bird feed with 28% protein and perhaps a bit of cat food to up their intake. Most layer feeds start off with 15/16% protein and if they are raining, it might get low if they are not eating much of it.
  7. bdagenais

    bdagenais In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2008
    Spring Hill, FL
    Yes it is a 10% protein mix. They also get 16% layer crumble. They were also getting veggie and fruit food scraps to pick at during the day. No Meat!I wastn't sure how much protein was too much protein. I will look into game bird feed. Thanks for all the info.
  8. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    10% protein would only lower the protein in their 16% layer.... 10% is lower than 16%.... If you want to increase protein you need something higher than 16%. It might be enough to just cut out the 10% stuff and some treats without switching to gamebird feed. You cold do gamebird feed or unmedicated chick starter for awhile though or mixed with the layer for awhile to give them a boost. If you are going to use the 10% grain mixture you will need to keep them on something higher in protein than layer to balance it or give them another nearly very high protein source (meat) as a treat.
  9. bdagenais

    bdagenais In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2008
    Spring Hill, FL
    Well today I purchased Pine Tar for the poor roo and some of the girls.
    I looked for the Game Bird Feed but unfortunately it is out of my budget right now. ($25 per bag)So I placed some manure and bedding from my horses in the chicken pens with black oil sunflower seeds. They seemed to forget about each other for the moment. I guess now instead of composting for my garden I will be giving the girls and boys more scratching fun. I slathered all of the birds that showed signs of picking and separated them. I hope this works and allows the feathers to grow back. I appreciate all of the good advice. Hope all is well with everyone. God Bless!
  10. Chic Chick

    Chic Chick Songster

    Dec 30, 2008
    East Central Alberta
    I've noticed the same with a few of my chickens and I am using a salve called stop-pick. If that doesn't work I am going to buy the peepers and try them.

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