Roosters bloodying hens backs : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have 2 young roosters and 16 hens. I just got rid of one rooster. Due to mating, the roosters have caused most of the hens to lose all the feathers on their backs and have begun to draw a little blood. I was wondering if their was anything I could do to remedy the problem short of getting rid of another rooster?

-- Jacob Johnson (, April 30, 2001


We had a big buff orpington rooster do this. One hen ended up with big abcesses (no idea if I spelled that right but you know what I mean!) on her back. So that was the end of him. I really don't think there is much you can do.

-- Elizabeth (, April 30, 2001.

I'd opt for the other rooster. Keep the younger one, though he is probably the root of the problem.

Richard and Val (the people I used to drive for) ordered chicks about four years ago. They got 50 hens and 1 rooster. (Ordered that way, and voila - a once in a lifetime thing for those two, lol!!)

Anyway, that one rooster not only served all the ladies, but still wanted more!! He was so oversexed that he actually killed one of the older hens and kept at her until they caught him and took her away. They finally just got rid of him, too, and did without the fertile eggs.

Some roosters are just way oversexed....

-- Sue Diederich (, April 30, 2001.

(along with some men,, LOL )

-- stan (, April 30, 2001.

Roosters are much feistier and noisier if they have competition. If you have just one rooster he shouldn't feel compelled to make all his efforts outweigh the competition; and if you have one less than that then you get to sleep in on summer mornings until possibly 5am, or even 6am if you feel lazy. Or whenever YOU choose if there isn't a rooster doing the choosing for you.

-- Don Armstrong (, April 30, 2001.

My mother used to make denim saddles out of jeans legs for those hens. They tied on under the hen's breast and back of her legs, as I remember. She made them only for the rooster's favorites, and it seemed to save them some wear and tear. Not a perfect answer, but it helps some if you really want to keep the rooster.

-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (, April 30, 2001.

We really love the cock-a-doodle-do(we live way out in the country so noise is no problem), but couldn't tolerate the abuse the hens were taking. We cycled two different roosters with the same results. They were great in the stew pot. We don't need chicks, and a couple more grams of protien in the eggs is not a factor for us, so we (and the hens) go without a rooster. They have settled down quite a bit. It takes a long time for the feathers to come back, but most of our 19 ladies have recovered. The funny thing is, some of the California Whites must have that kind of "need", because they often "assume the position" when we walk into the coup. Sometimes I'll bend over, and with my hand, shake them on the back. They fluff up and strut away, seemingly satisfied. LOL. My wife says she is starting to worry about me!

-- Rick Powell (, May 03, 2001.

Chickens learn how to relate as they are young, just as people do. I found that the flock that I raised with roosters present were far more aggressive even between the hens, just because the feeling of aggresion was prevalent in the flock. Even after I killed off the roosters, the aggression continues, though not quite as badly. The top hen of the pecking order has taken over the job of keeping the bottom few hens in submission by mounting them. Guess she was exposed to too much sexual aggression in her childhood, eh?

I like the idea of those denim saddles. I may try them sometime. Also, I am wondering if a lone rooster of a lighter breed than the hens would work better. I really miss that crowing.

My mom has had chickens all her life. (She's 76 yrs old.) She says hens are far more at peace if you kill off all those cockerels as soon as they start to crow. She said women get along better among themselves if men are removed from the mix... lol. I guess thats why traditionally men were sent off to get meat? lol Ok, ok, please, dont take offense at me. I am only kidding around.

-- daffodyllady (, May 03, 2001.

Rick, I'm beginning to worry about you too!

-- Ardie from WI (, May 04, 2001.

Gail Damerow has some really WONDERFUL books about chickens. She suggests the "apron" on the hens, clipping toenails and keeping the spurs short. If it is a young rooster the spurs should not be the problem. I have trimmed the toenails on my roosters before. As with any toenail trimming procedure with animals, I keep a bar of soap handy in case I cut too far and there's bleeding. A quick scrape across the soap stops that. Of course, a friendly rooster helps, too. I guess it pays off to fuss with the silly things. I have a pen in my chicken coop that gets used more than I could have imagined when we built it. If a rooster is a real snot, then "time out" is as good reprieve for the girls. Although, like some of the other postings, if it is a dual purpose bird, they sure do taste good in the pressure cooker or pot!

-- T. Burnash (, May 04, 2001.

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