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Picking? Mating? Molting? What am I dealing with here?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Many (Not all) of my hens have these patches of no feathers. The pictures are not great but they give you an idea of where the affected areas are. It seems to be on their backs (I think from mating??), under their beaks (only on 2) and on the backs of their heads. I'm a first time chicken mom...I've had them for about a year. Any suggestions and feedback is appreciated. 

 

Some more details- 

Hens are a year old. 

I have 10 hens, 1 rooster. 

They are in the coop and attached run 24/7 with access to both. (But they don't free range). 

They are on a 16% Protein Layer Crumble and get a cup or two of BOSS every day, along with table scraps and such. 

Buffs, Sex Link, Barred Rock, RIR, EE, and my rooster is a Buff Orpington too. 

I have noticed varying instances of this since about December.

 

Thanks!! Let me know suggestions of what to do and how to help them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor's Wife. Vet Tech. Sharing my life with my wonderful husband, our 4 horses, 4 dogs, 2 cats (plus 2 barn cats), and a flock of chickens. Living the country life=my dream come true.

Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD establishes his steps.
 

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Pastor's Wife. Vet Tech. Sharing my life with my wonderful husband, our 4 horses, 4 dogs, 2 cats (plus 2 barn cats), and a flock of chickens. Living the country life=my dream come true.

Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD establishes his steps.
 

Reply
post #2 of 3

It's feather picking and over mating by the rooster. It would do them food to get out of the coop and run to free range, since boredom, overcrowding, and sometimes a lack of protein can cause this. You can use some home made hen aprons or saddles to cover the bare spots until they go through their first big molt around 16-18 months old. Some Nustock or other bad tasting ointment can help to discourage pecking. Some higher protein treats such as game bird feed might help as well. Chickens love to go out and explore their surroundings, if only forma few hours before dusk.

post #3 of 3
I know this seems weird but it did work with our hens.
Put duct tape over there backs (Carful to not tape it on to the skin) and the feathers grew back under the tape and the other hens/whatever is picking at her, couldn't get to it
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