You may remember this guy…..
….big daddy, Benedict….our gentleman rooster. Always polite, never asking of his hens without the traditional dance. He doesn’t eat of the discarded kitchen goodies until his family has had the chance to partake. This boy keeps his eye on the sky and warns the flock of any impending dangers…Yes, he is the stud of the farm.
The past couple of months, Benedict has become somewhat of a bully to a few select hens. Oddly enough, these are hens of his roo-hood…the full Rhode Island Reds, all of them…except mama hen, Chardonnay. He will literally chase them down, not necessarily to mate, but often times just to, well…stand on them. Really, at this point, I know the difference..hahaha! Their backs are bare, or in various stages of feather regrowth.
I’ve read about this. Their feather loss is not due to molting, there are even thick wing feathers that have been broken off, not pulled out. And I’ve witnessed it…I’ve seen the intentional chase..mount..stand, just standing, no rooster duties going on. Sometimes, Claudio, our Buff Orphington hen, gets in the act with Benedict, and will run over and start some weird kind of hen attack…plucking at the other hen’s feathers while Benedict stands on them. Is this common behavior??
As the colder weather approaches, I’m a bit worried about these girls. At the advice of our local feed store, the flock is now getting supplemented with Purina Flock Raiser which is higher in protein and fat than regular chicken feed (Purina Layena.) It seems to be helping with feather regrowth, and since the cold weather is currently knocking on the door, I’ve made this their primary food. As the feathers attempt to grow back, those thick shafts stick out, and it seems much more painful for them when Benedict does…whatever it is he is doing. I’ve become, Alpha Rooster, and chase him away from these girls when he pursues them…he does seem to be listening. I’ve read about hen jackets that are made for this reason, however, you run a greater risk of a mite infestation with the jackets….I don’t think I want that…but I also don’t want my girls to be cold. The only thing I know is….there’s a lot I don’t know!!!
Thanks for checking in on the farm today. When I tell the flock that you’ve been here…they get very excited!!!
Your friend from Oregon,
Comments on: "Nope, Not Moulting" (4)
The rooster “DANCE” we saw when we were up there was one of the funniest things I have seen. And this morning. I played the video and got an extra wake up call from Benedict.
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Yes, his dance is quite comical! He is the best alarm clock ever.
Hi Tami! I follow every post with delight though I’ve been quiet commenting. This chicken bare back thing is strange!! Really cold last night, hope the chicks get some feathers soon. Did you catch Carlene’s b-day parties? What a hoot..she seemed so happy with all the fuss. Whatta woman. Sending hugs to the farm and all two/four legged creatures. LOVE this blog. xoxoxox
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Thank you for reading my blog! I’ve always “needed” to write, even as a young child….it’s good to know you enjoy it! I’ve read about the issue of bare back chickens when you have a rooster full time with the flock…it happens. I just don’t understand why it seems he is picking on those four hens…why chase them down and then just stand on them? I have only quickly seen a few pictures of Carlene’s b-day parties…they definitely looked like she (and everyone else) had a really fun time. The weekend is upon is…time to catch up on the SDP shenanigans!! Thanks again, Ellen!!