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Covering a bald butt?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have read just about every "bald butt" thread on here, and cannot find information that I am seeking. I know there are options like bumper bits to stop feather pecking, but my group of 7 have now been in the habit of pecking each others' butts for so long that I feel the best option is to cover their butts to allow re-growth of feathers. I have dealt with what I believe was the initial issue (space in the winter time when they got bored), and we tried all along to use various anti-pecking sprays and topicals. None of it worked, and I believe that some of them now self-mutilate. I have seen where the peepers don't always work, and it seems to me that bumper bits will prevent them from free range eating (which I would think would lead to more boredom and frustration). I read an article in Backyard Poultry that suggested a lot of things, and one very weird thing she did was to cover a group of laying hens' bald butts in duct tape, claiming that it came off naturally during the next molt, and all was well. Somehow duct tape just does not sound like a good idea to me. However, covering their rumps for a time does. Has anyone been able to successfully create some sort of butt cover for their chickens? 

post #2 of 7
Maybe some sort of an extension on an apron, but you would have to make sure poo didn't accumulate on it... That is a tough one! Good luck!
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakat74 View Post
 

I have read just about every "bald butt" thread on here, and cannot find information that I am seeking. I know there are options like bumper bits to stop feather pecking, but my group of 7 have now been in the habit of pecking each others' butts for so long that I feel the best option is to cover their butts to allow re-growth of feathers. I have dealt with what I believe was the initial issue (space in the winter time when they got bored), and we tried all along to use various anti-pecking sprays and topicals. None of it worked, and I believe that some of them now self-mutilate. ......

 

That could very well be the case especially if your birds are infested with depluming mites.  Chickens will pull out their own plumage in an effort to rid themselves of the misery associated with this parasite.

 

The following is from the University of Texas Poultry Science Department:

 

Depluming Mite, Neocnemidocoptes laevis gallinae var. gallinae (Railliet) This mite is similar to the scaly-leg mite, but is smaller and more oval.

 

Distribution and hosts: Infestation occurs throughout the United States. Hosts include pigeons, pheasants, geese, canaries, and chickens. Many wild birds have been infested with this species or with closely related, unidentified species. Life history and habits. Development stages include egg, larva, nymph, male adult, and immature and mature female adult. Little is known about the life history of this species, but researchers believe transformation from immature to mature female occurs after fertilization. The fertilized female begins depositing eggs within a few hours after starting to burrow and continues at 2- or 3-day intervals for about 2 months. Eggs hatch in about 5 days. The cycle from egg to egg-laying female requires 10 to 14 days. Less than 10 percent of the eggs mature into adults.

 

Importance and nature of damage: The depluming mite burrows into skin at the base of the feathers on the back, on the top of the wings, around the vent and on the breast and thighs. It causes intensive itching, often resulting in feather pulling. Fowls may lose feathers over large areas of the body. Infestations, especially noticeable in spring and summer, may disappear in autumn. 

 

http://posc.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/2012/08/b-10881.pdf


Edited by chickengeorgeto - 8/30/15 at 5:46pm
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickengeorgeto View Post

 

That could very well be the case especially if your birds are infested with depluming mites.  Chickens will pull out their own plumage in an effort to rid themselves of the misery associated with this parasite.

 

The following is from the University of Texas Poultry Science Department:

 

Depluming Mite, Neocnemidocoptes laevis gallinae var. gallinae (Railliet) This mite is similar to the scaly-leg mite, but is smaller and more oval.

 

Distribution and hosts: Infestation occurs throughout the United States. Hosts include pigeons, pheasants, geese, canaries, and chickens. Many wild birds have been infested with this species or with closely related, unidentified species. Life history and habits. Development stages include egg, larva, nymph, male adult, and immature and mature female adult. Little is known about the life history of this species, but researchers believe transformation from immature to mature female occurs after fertilization. The fertilized female begins depositing eggs within a few hours after starting to burrow and continues at 2- or 3-day intervals for about 2 months. Eggs hatch in about 5 days. The cycle from egg to egg-laying female requires 10 to 14 days. Less than 10 percent of the eggs mature into adults.

 

Importance and nature of damage: The depluming mite burrows into skin at the base of the feathers on the back, on the top of the wings, around the vent and on the breast and thighs. It causes intensive itching, often resulting in feather pulling. Fowls may lose feathers over large areas of the body. Infestations, especially noticeable in spring and summer, may disappear in autumn. 

 

http://posc.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/2012/08/b-10881.pdf

 



They have been to the vet multiple times. Are these mites something my vet could be missing? They have also been treated with ivermectin for worming - dosing from the vet for each bird based on individual weight. I was thinking that ivermectin also dealt with a lot of topical parasites as well, but I could be wrong.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickengeorgeto View Post
 

 

That could very well be the case especially if your birds are infested with depluming mites.  Chickens will pull out their own plumage in an effort to rid themselves of the misery associated with this parasite.

 

http://posc.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/2012/08/b-10881.pdf

 


Originally Posted by mamakat74 View Post
Quote:


They have been to the vet multiple times. Are these mites something my vet could be missing? They have also been treated with ivermectin for worming - dosing from the vet for each bird based on individual weight. I was thinking that ivermectin also dealt with a lot of topical parasites as well, but I could be wrong.

 

Depluming mites burrow into the feather shafts or quills so you don't see them, they also infest the "hair" follicles that the feathers grow out of.  Needless to say these mites can only be seen under a microscope if and only then when they are out in the open.  Normally a chicken with feather mites has an un-kept look and often the birds' skin around its belly and vent has a red color because of the misery feather mites bring on.  De-pluming or feather mites are quite similar to the tiny mites that infest humans' eyelash roots or else the human scabies mites or the mites that cause mange in dogs.  I am unsure if Ivermectin will manage them.  

Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickengeorgeto View Post
 

 

Depluming mites burrow into the feather shafts or quills so you don't see them, they also infest the "hair" follicles that the feathers grow out of.  Needless to say these mites can only be seen under a microscope if and only then when they are out in the open.  Normally a chicken with feather mites has an un-kept look and often the birds' skin around its belly and vent has a red color because of the misery feather mites bring on.  De-pluming or feather mites are quite similar to the tiny mites that infest humans' eyelash roots or else the human scabies mites or the mites that cause mange in dogs.  I am unsure if Ivermectin will manage them.  

I looked up depluming mites, and the ivermectin (oral) would have gotten them. So basically, my chickens have been treated for mites and worms. However, I did some more digging and found that it's possible that where they had pecked or been pecked could have either gotten bacterial or fungal infection, which could cause a vicious cycle of continued discomfort causing continued self-pecking. So we first decided to go with Tresederm, something that I've used on cats and know gets both some fungal stuff and bacterial stuff (it's through the vet only). But one day into that I got nervous about the littlest one and so we decided to separate the 3 with bald, red butts and also give them antibiotics in their water just in case the infection has gone deeper. For the first time, after using ALL kinds of anti-pecking and antibacterial stuff, we are seeing real improvement. 

 

I have also ordered a single diaper, just so that my mom and I can see how something that covers their rumps would stay on, and then maybe fashion something else out of that pattern that would cover most of their bald butts for protection (after treatment is complete) while the feathers grow back in, but NOT be catching their poop, because I don't want to be emptying 3 diapers a day. 

 

I hope others will see this post and know that if they are having RED bald butt issues, it's time to treat for potential infection and not just keep spraying the chickens with anti-peck stuff, or dusting them for mites and such. 

post #7 of 7

Did you manage to find a way to cover the butt without it being a diaper catching some poop?

I'm having the same issue!

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