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Female has had all the feathers and skin pecked off her head

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Went out this morning and found my white female has had her head pecked to the skull (yes it's actually showing). She's a little lethargic but otherwise fine. She's the only white one in the bunch and had a small tuft off black on her head.
I have no idea who did it but I think it was my male as some of the others are missing feathers on the backs of thier heads.
What would cause him to do this?
I've separated her and plan on trying to nurse her back to health but I understand the odds.
My other question is if I need to separate my male for fear of him doing this to my other birds?
post #2 of 7

When they mate the male will grab on to the feathers on the back of the hen's head.  It could be that or she could be getting pecked because she's different.  If you have highish cages, she may have tried to fly and scalped herself.

 

Some questions:

 

How are they housed?

How old are they?

How long have they been together and are they from the same hatching?

What's your female:male ratio?

post #3 of 7

Actually, the odd's aren't all that bad. I've read a few stories on here about scalped quail that healed just fine. As long as she's eating and drinking, she's likely to get over it. Other than that, I second Em Ty's theories and questions.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Em Ty View Post

When they mate the male will grab on to the feathers on the back of the hen's head.  It could be that or she could be getting pecked because she's different.  If you have highish cages, she may have tried to fly and scalped herself.

Some questions:

How are they housed?
How old are they?
How long have they been together and are they from the same hatching?
What's your female:male ratio?
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have five housed in a 3' X 3' cage. It is about 12 inches high. The original male and female are about 4 months old. The next batch is a male and two females that are just now 2 months old. The new male had his feathers pecked off his back a couple of weeks ago but has since recovered. They have been together about 3 weeks. I kept them together, separated by a piece of wire for a week to get used to each other before that.
This female is all white. She is the smallest of the bunch and, because she fell ill in her first day, is the tamest because I had to nurse her.
What's odd is this happened overnight. She was fine at 8 last night when I gathered eggs from the older one.
post #6 of 7

Well, we can rule out scalping with that cage height.  I'd guess that she may have just sexually matured and got mated extensively by the two males or pecked by the two females. 

 

I'd separate the two sets into the original pair and trio.  If you want to cross them, just switch the males, but I'd see how it plays out by separating them first.  Giving her only 1 male to contend with should help with over-breeding and she's less likely to get pecked by the other female she grew up with.

 

Good luck.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I checked the cage and found where she repeatedly hit the top of her head on it. I guess it was the male that spooked her
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