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Helping each other with Grooming

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Is it normal for hens to help each other groom? I have a RIR hen that makes me nervous by pecking at her flock mates tail feathers when they are wet (after having a bath). And today I caught her helping another hen groom her (dry but messy feathers). I don't think its mean spirited (she's buddies with the hen that she was helping today), but I am afraid she might unintentionally injure one of her friends.

post #2 of 7
Chickens will often mutual groom, it's normal and nice to see.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Interesting.  Assuming no blood and the other hen doesn't object, would there ever be a reason for me to break it up then?  

post #4 of 7
I wouldn't intervene unless for the reasons you stated. I have watch my hens sit around the roosters in the warm sun and they gently pick and preen at his feathers, especially the ones on his face, he just closes his eyes and enjoys it. Two hens can form deep bonds that are reinforced by grooming and touching each other the same as they do with the roosters.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

I noticed today that one of the hens in question had some bare skin below her vent (that the other ones don't have).  Is that normal, or could that be caused by overzealous tail feather pulling on the part of her friend?  Or by overzealous feather rinsing on my part (the hen in question tends to have a messy behind, so I have been trying to keep it rinsed off)?

post #6 of 7
You would have to do some observing. That's a common site for feather pickers to pull them off from, it's usually a sneak attack from behind so it different from mutual grooming. As the season goes on it normal for chickens to loose some feathers. I have never given my chickens baths, so it could be damaging them. So, many things could be the cause.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

I see what I can do.

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