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Moving hen

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We currently have 2 hens and one rooster (all just turned one yesterday) that live together.  Frankie, the rooster is quite big and one hen, Big Bird, is a massive Orpington.  Little Bird, as her name suggests, is quite small and she seems to be getting picked on by Big Bird.

We also have a number of Runner and Harlequin ducks that live in separate area with Barbara, a Peking Bantam Cockerel (he'll be one in June, as will all the ducks).  He lives quite happily with the ducks, but of course we worry about him being without female company! 

Should we get him a female(s) or could we move Little Bird in with Barbara? Or are we best leaving everything as it is?  I am worried about Little Bird as she is getting red parches on her neck. Thank you.


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Ideally, each cockerel should have at least 4 wives in his flock; this helps to spread his attentions around a bit and prevent any one hen getting too 'tired'. It would also help your flock dynamics, and little hen, to have more birds; provided that the introductions are careful ad gradual, it should work.

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I would keep an eye on it.  As DM says, you ideally need a higher ratio of hen to Cockerel.  I’d go as high as I Cockerel to 8 chickens.   If you don’t have a balanced flock, the Cockerel can injure the hens.  Especially smaller ones.  The type of injury to watch out for is top of the head as he holds her down, then missing feathers on the back as he mates.   You can actually buy chicken  saddles to protect their backs! 

But, frankly I would consider rehoming if you see any injury.    There is a good FB page HPG Cockerel Rehome if you need it.   I had to rehome a Cockerel who was left alone when his ladies died.  He’s now living with 10 lovely ladies in a National Trust place!   I now wish I’d done it earlier. 

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