Will there be bare backs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Studio2770, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. Studio2770

    Studio2770 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm 99% sure we got a 9 wk old partridge cochin cockerel. I was told he attempted to crow this morning, I guess he wanted to get out of the kennel. We also have a cuckoo cochin pullet the same age and a 8 wk old EE pullet. Then we have 5 leghorns, almost all are laying. I've heard of roosters plucking out feathers when mounting hens. I don't know how Oliver will be when he's older, he's sweet now. Since he's the only boy out of 8 chickens total, will we have bare back hens?
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Eight hens might be enough for him. It really depends on the rooster. Some will be energetic, viciously overmating their hens, while others could care less. If he starts to tear feathers out, there are two things you can do. You can get some "chicken saddles", which are pieces of cloth that go on a hen's back and prevent a rooster from destroying the feathers. Or, you could get more chickens![​IMG]

    So far, your little rooster sounds like a sweet boy, so don't worry yet. Eight hens is usually sufficient, but there are exceptions.
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    8 hens to 1 rooster is a fine ratio. Now, with that said, your rooster may have a "favorite" that gets more of his attention and gets a bare back.
     
  4. figlover

    figlover Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a Buff Orpington and HAD an aggressive rooster who is now soup. He attacked me regularly. The Buff has lost all her back feathers (3"x3"). Is there anything I can do to help them grow back. Vitamin E??
     
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Sometimes upping the protein that a bird's getting will help feathers grow in. You can give her scrambled eggs a couple times a week, give sunflower seeds, or change the feed to a higher protein feed like game bird grower.
     
  6. figlover

    figlover Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for that direction. I had been sending more juicy worms in her direction. It didn't help but she really likes me.

    I now have a different rooster [Beau-regard (he is bow legged)] . He definitely goes after them but is clumsy and younger.

    Unfortunately her back is actually getting worse since her back is so exposed to his attempts. Other birds seem to have smaller spots of missing feathers. Many are bald as a result of the other rooster.

    Is it somewhat common for hens to get bald and loose back feathers from the rooster's attentions?

    I have heard of back covers but am not sure if covering their backs makes sense. I feel terrible every time I see them.

    Would a little Vitamin E applied to their back help. I haven't tried it but come to think of it maybe lathering them with canola might make them too slippery for them.

    If this rooster could talk he would sound like Goofy from the Disney generation.
     
  7. figlover

    figlover Out Of The Brooder

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    I forgot to mention that the new rooster is a Buff Orpinton. I thought he would be a gentler male. So far is okay but he still young.
     
  8. figlover

    figlover Out Of The Brooder

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    Rereading earlier posts to my dilemma, I think having thirty hens to watch over may have sent Charlie (the mean) over the edge. I don't want to get more roosters but soon I will have 48 hens give or take (culling). I wonder if two more roosters would be wise or asking for trouble. Some posted somewhere that they had three roosters who each had a harem of their own in one flock. They didn't fight. Is that just an anomaly to the species I wonder?
     
  9. figlover

    figlover Out Of The Brooder

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    My new Buff Orpington Rooster is fitting in well and not aggressive like my last killer bird. But the feathers are still coming off. I wonder if there is a cream or form of Vitamin E to sooth their bare skin. I will try to find the chicken saddles. I would like to make some.

    Can you recommend a method to cull my flock. I have thirty-three laying hens but get only fifteen to nineteen eggs a day. I have ten new teens who will soon start laying but I would like to weed out the non-productive hens. I seem to be making coops constantly. I have plans for one large coop for all, but the silkies, but I can't get to it because of all the small tasks necessary to keep the flock safe, fed, watered, protected and keep the young safe from the adults. I am spread so thin that my family continuously are telling me "get rid of the chickens." I won't listen because I feel that the chickens are my mission along with my garden.

    I got colored plastic ties to attach to the legs of any bird that I can identify as a layer. But I'm sure there must be a way determine how to know. Ideas?
     
  10. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there! Like you, I have a Buff Orpington rooster too. He is as gentle as a kitten, but due to his sheer size and weight, my girls are getting bare backs too. I have recently invested in some Hen Savers (Aprons) to give the girls a little protection. It doesn't fix the damaged feathers, but it does give them a chance to heal where his claws dug into their sides. It is clear to me that I will need to get some more hens so he can distribute his 'love' a bit more and give the girls a break!

    Sounds to me like you have the opposite problem to me and might be a little over-run with chickens! I have absolutely no ideas about culling (and don't envy anyone having to do it). Is there someone around who could help you to cull the non-productive birds? Alternatively, there may be some folks out there who would like to adopt a few. Even if they are not great layers, they are still a delight to have around.

    Good luck no matter what you decide.

    - Krista
     

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