Will a rooster take off the wing feathers of a hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by spatulagirl, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. spatulagirl

    spatulagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2010
    Harpers Ferry, WV
    I have a new hen that I had to separate because she got picked on in the crate while bringing her home. After she healed up I slipped her into the coop and the next day when I checked on her, a good chunk of her top feathers on her left wing were sheared right off. It made her a little off balance but I left her in the coop. The next day her flight feathers were sheared off on the same wing. So now she is so off balance, she can't fly or do anything!

    The only thing I can think of is that it was the rooster. He hasn't done this to anyone else (he is new to me and our first rooster).

    I just took her out of the coop and put her in my garage in a pen. I don't think there is anything I can do though until she molts right? Is should happen this fall.
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Why do you assume the rooster did this??? Did all the hens come together or is she a new hen to the group? Because hens can and will be brutal to a new hen. Time should always be taken to integrate new birds...
    And if she was hatched last year, even late fall, she should molt this fall/winter.
     
  3. spatulagirl

    spatulagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2010
    Harpers Ferry, WV
    I got six new hens that came together. I have no clue who did it and I feel awful. I took a few days to integrate the group but when I separated her, I slipped her into the coop at night (she had been next to the coop, letting her butt recover). That is why I am wondering if a rooster could do it. We have had chickens for two years but never a roo so I am new to his mating habits.

    It looks like someone took scissors to her wing.

    I don't know what to do with her now. She looks totally depressed. I guess I just wait for her to molt. I think I might put her with another hen into a small chicken tractor in the garden. My other hen needs a break from the rooster as she seems to be a favourite and her back looks awful.

    So I move her somewhere where she doesn't have to fly and wait for her to molt.
     
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I had a roo that would peck the girls feathers & feed them back to the girls.The girls caught on & the pecking was terrible I mean wing feathers & all they looked awful. I finally killed the roo & had to separate some girls one at a time for months till their feathers came back. You need to sit & watch to see whats actually happening. Could take some time to find out just whats going on. My girls are now back to normal after a year long pecking party. It was a nightmare. Good Luck. You might want to up their protein to help the feathers grow back.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  5. spatulagirl

    spatulagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2010
    Harpers Ferry, WV
    Thank you! I have her separated and will put her in a tractor with the another pecked on hen this week.

    Any suggestions on adding more protein to her diet?
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Flock Raiser or game bird feed has higher protein. Fish (or fish meal perhaps), meat scraps, a little BOSS. Cut out any treats that aren't known for being high protein.
    And for future reference, you can make (and they are frequently sold here on BYC in the auction section) chicken saddles for your hens to protect their back feathers from an overly aggressive rooster.
    Beside nutritional factors, space is another thing you look at when it comes to feather picking. Do they have ample space??
    Putting her in with another (mild mannered) hen is a good idea. Or, if you want to test who's doing what, isolate the roo in the tractor for a few days and see if the damage stops/goes no further....process of elimination.
     
  7. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Here's what I did I put one scoop 20% laying pellets & one scoop GBS. Cut out treats. I also added avian charge to their water. Did this for about a month.
     

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