Hen to rooster ratio

Bare back on a hen which has been overmatedI’ve
attached a couple pictures of my chickens and I was wondering if you
have had this happen to any of your hens.  They are losing the
feathers on their back.  They don’t seem to have any mites. 
Our 2 roosters are pretty aggressive so I wonder if having 2 roosters
in a pen with only 4 hens might be the cause.  Any thoughts are


It sounds like your roosters are definitely at fault.  We had a
similar problem a couple of years ago when we were keeping four hens
and a rooster in a chicken
.  The rooster overmated the hens since they had
nowhere to run and hide.  After our rooster nearly killed one of
the hens, we retired him to the stewpot.

The optimal rooster to hen ratio is around 1:12.  When you have
too few hens, roosters will end up ripping feathers off the hens’
backs, and in some cases can be so rough that the hens begin to
bleed.  The problem is exacerbated if the chickens are confined in
a small space.

The solutions are simple, but not always palatable.  Unless you’re
trying to raise your own chicks, you don’t actually need a rooster in
your flock and the easiest solution is to eat him or to separate him
from your hens.  If you’re too attached to your rooster(s), you
can add more hens to achieve the optimal hen to rooster ratio. 
But be sure to increase the size of your coop and run in the process!

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