We are giving away 4 copies of Robert Kourik's book, Roots Demystified
Robert will be answering your questions in the plants forum Monday through Friday!
See this thread for details
Permies likes chickens and the farmer likes Hen pecked permies
  Search | Permaculture Wiki | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies | World Domination!
Register / Login

permies » forums » critters » chickens
Bookmark "Hen pecked" Watch "Hen pecked" New topic

Hen pecked

Jim Lea

Joined: Aug 01, 2011
Posts: 114
Location: Southern Sierra Nevada's
We might have a problem brewing. Our Buff orpinton rooster just "LOVES" our small Rhode island red. He mounts her so many times a day she is getting raw on her flanks. We fear for her health.
We think we need to remove her from the mix for some R and R.
Question. Will the rest of the flock let her back in or would this be a mistake?


CA, Southern Sierras, alt. 4550 feet, zone 9ish. (still figuring it out), 3 mo. grow season. Regular wind to 20 mph. SANDY soil with scrub oak,pine,and juniper. 2 seasonal creeks.
Chris Kott

Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
I'm sorry, I just can't stop laughing! I really hope someone answers with a helpful post. My only advice is to make a video and send it to Paul for some creative sound/video editing a la his snake porn video.

Good luck!

Jim Lea

Joined: Aug 01, 2011
Posts: 114
Location: Southern Sierra Nevada's
As sad as it is I'm kind of chuckling right now, as poor "henny penny" (what we call her) has got it twice since I started reading your response! She runs scared. It's not just " "the sky is falling" for her. You can almost read her mind... "okay just make it quick, let's get this over with".

Ken Peavey

Joined: Dec 21, 2009
Posts: 2472
Location: FL
This is normal.
Roosters will favor a hen for a while then move on. You probably have a cute Rhode Island Red hen, in the eyes of the rooster. The hen will be just fine for the most part, but look for problems. If the action of the rooster is such that it draws blood, the rest of the chickens will be strongly attracted to the blood, pecking at it relentlessly. This can cause injury, infection and death. If you see blood on your hen, immediately segregate her from all your birds until she heals. If your concern warrants action, you can segregate her any time to give her a rest. Her feathers will grow back in time.

Hen Apron
There is a neat little product on the market called a Hen Apron. It fits over the back of the hen to prevent injury.
See: the Hen Saver website.
These offer protection and allow the hen to remain in the general population. Cost $8-12 plus shipping.

The ratio of roosters to hens may be something to consider. A couple of roosters will keep a dozen hens in the buff. Even with 1 rooster for 20 hens, because they have favorites, you can end up with bald hens. Rather than segregate a hen, it may be more practical to segregate the rooster, particularly in the spring when they tend to get overzealous.

Seed the Mind, Harvest Ideas.
Jim Lea

Joined: Aug 01, 2011
Posts: 114
Location: Southern Sierra Nevada's
So if anyone is following this we have sequestered the hen since the first post. And she is healing fine. One time she got loose and was... well, caught twice, very quickly.
Time will tell how this works out. Hopefully she will be able to assimilate back into the flock.

Jim Lea

Joined: Aug 01, 2011
Posts: 114
Location: Southern Sierra Nevada's
Oh. Ken, thanks for your advice here by the way.

I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
subject: Hen pecked
cast iron skillet 49er

more from paul wheaton's glorious empire of web junk: cast iron skillet diatomaceous earth sepp holzer raised garden beds raising chickens lawn care flea control missoula electric heaters permaculture videos permaculture books