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Chickens with bare backs and behinds, feathers not growing back. Please HELP!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

In the beginning of winter our chickens started pecking each other and pecked one hen to death and injured 5 others. We had to separate the injured hens and put them in the shed. They all seem to be laying eggs and doing just fine but their feathers are not growing back and it's been a couple of months since they were pecked and they've healed since then. I also noticed that their behinds are all bare and bright red. Is it molting or something else? I looked at them in the dark with a flashlight for the signs of mites or lice but don't see anything. It's our first time raising chickens and I'm not sure what to do... The shed where the injured hens are is made of plastic and the rest are in a metal coop so I don't think they should have any mites since those usually live in the wood as far as I know but I might be mistaken. We separated the rooster from the hens a while back since it seemed like he was the reason for pecking so it's not the rooster damaging their skin. Has anyone had this problem before and knows what can cause feathers not to regrow after pecking and also why do hens lose their feathers on their behinds?

post #2 of 10

they were pecking each other to death BEFORE you removed the rooster? roosters break up fights and keep the hens in order, I dont know how to help you but the rooster keeps everyone in line, I understand that you prolly removed him because their was bad pecking before hand but my question is "what age did you get the hens and are they from the same home? because they could have been establishing the pecking order and the rooster made it not get out of hand and then you removed him and they just went crazy"

 

 

this is only my THEORY! dont listen to me completely, cause i truly do not know why it could be happening and why the feathers arent growing back

post #3 of 10

I got a couple of hens a while back that had bare backs. I made saddles or aprons, whichever you want to call them and after a few weeks all the feathers were back. You can make them a little long to cover the tail sections.

 

I think a roo might help too, but it could also be that he mounts them too often and is cutting their backs, Chickens are cannibles, so the blood attracts them like a beaked shark.

 

The areas need to be covered and you need to check every few days to make sure there is no infection.

 

I had a mite problem once. Never saw one till I dusted my birds and saw them fall off. Just because the coop is made of something that usually wouldn't support pests, doesn't mean they don't have them.

 

I would dust them, use the saddles and then reintroduce the roo.


Edited by wolftracks - 2/12/12 at 10:35pm
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

They all grew up together. They pecked the rooster as well. He was pretty sad-looking... They were about 5 months old when it started and it was when the winter started.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm going to dust them as well although I haven't seen any mites on them. Do mites eat their feathers? I have a Russian Orloff rooster that is separated and has not come in contact with the hens and he is fully feathered and looks beautiful but he is actually the one that we found mites on yesterday. The Russian Orloff hen that was in the coop with him (we kept them separate because other hens wouldn't accept them) actually died a couple of weeks ago out of nowhere. Now that we found mites on him I think that was the reason for my hen's death. But her feathers looked intact. The only thing that I noticed was that she got smaller but otherwise she looked alert and healthy till the day before she died. When I found her sick she just sat there, lethargic, wouldn't eat or drink. Her poop was bright green as I noticed afterwards. But what is puzzling me is that if the mites killed my hen and she looked nice and pretty till the day she died then maybe my black hens don't have that problem and they might be eating their own feathers due to lack of protein since it's winter. They don't have any blood on them, we solved the pecking problem with pine tar a while back, so I'm hoping that maybe it's lack of protein and when spring comes they'll regrow their feathers back.

 

What do you make saddles out of? I tried duct tape before but it didn't stay on them.

post #6 of 10

I had a problem with my rooster getting pecked, to the point his butt was bare. The hens were pecking him. I read that they get bored if they are in an enclosure. Chickens are carnivorus(sp) and will peck something red or white. I bluekoted his butt and any other spots, I put him in a run by himself and then ended up putting 2 hens with him. He has healed beautifully, I also have had to bluekote a couple of the hens where he rubbed the feathers off. You can get the BlueKote at the farm and garden or order online. I would pull the worse hens out and blue kote everyone that has a spot on him/her. You are going to have a pecking order, that cant be helped, but you probably deter the worse behaviour. My roo and chicks free range now, they are so busy scratching and hunting they dont have time to hurt each other. Im not an expert but this worked for me.

 

Now if someone could tell me what is wrong with my Brahma Roo's feet!

DH, 1 mutt, 1 shihzu, 2 Buff Brahmas, 2 Sussex, 2 Black Sexlinks, 3 Buff Brahma Roosters. I quilt, read, obsessed with chickens
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DH, 1 mutt, 1 shihzu, 2 Buff Brahmas, 2 Sussex, 2 Black Sexlinks, 3 Buff Brahma Roosters. I quilt, read, obsessed with chickens
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post #7 of 10

Notice this began as winter started.  I'm going to speculate that they spend far more time in the coop and boredom and flock tension set it.  This is pretty common among crowded, bored young birds.  Sometimes, feather pecking is sign of protein deficiency, but more commonly it is boredom and crowding.  It can also be stressed induced by using white light.  We'd need a few more details to give better direction, but do give thought to these issues.

 

 

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post #8 of 10

The caged bird, laying industry clips the beaks of over crowded birds precisely for this reason.  Cannibal behavior.

 

 

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post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahunt1976 View Post

I'm going to dust them as well although I haven't seen any mites on them. Do mites eat their feathers? I have a Russian Orloff rooster that is separated and has not come in contact with the hens and he is fully feathered and looks beautiful but he is actually the one that we found mites on yesterday. The Russian Orloff hen that was in the coop with him (we kept them separate because other hens wouldn't accept them) actually died a couple of weeks ago out of nowhere. Now that we found mites on him I think that was the reason for my hen's death. But her feathers looked intact. The only thing that I noticed was that she got smaller but otherwise she looked alert and healthy till the day before she died. When I found her sick she just sat there, lethargic, wouldn't eat or drink. Her poop was bright green as I noticed afterwards. But what is puzzling me is that if the mites killed my hen and she looked nice and pretty till the day she died then maybe my black hens don't have that problem and they might be eating their own feathers due to lack of protein since it's winter. They don't have any blood on them, we solved the pecking problem with pine tar a while back, so I'm hoping that maybe it's lack of protein and when spring comes they'll regrow their feathers back.

 

What do you make saddles out of? I tried duct tape before but it didn't stay on them.


There are free patterns online. There are very easy to make. I actually made them out of cloth placemates I bought at the Dollar tree. LOL They were doubled and had a light padding in the middle and I made 2 out of each one. Just cut them out, flipped them over and sewed them leaving a small opening to turn the right side out and added snaps and elastic. They even looked cute.

 

Wanted to say that I agree that is they are confined and crowded, it would make sense that they would also be doing this. They have to have space to give the higher order birds the room so they don't pick on the lower order birds.

 

Mites can damage the feathers. 
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragladysews View Post

I had a problem with my rooster getting pecked, to the point his butt was bare. The hens were pecking him. I read that they get bored if they are in an enclosure. Chickens are carnivorus(sp) and will peck something red or white. I bluekoted his butt and any other spots, I put him in a run by himself and then ended up putting 2 hens with him. He has healed beautifully, I also have had to bluekote a couple of the hens where he rubbed the feathers off. You can get the BlueKote at the farm and garden or order online. I would pull the worse hens out and blue kote everyone that has a spot on him/her. You are going to have a pecking order, that cant be helped, but you probably deter the worse behaviour. My roo and chicks free range now, they are so busy scratching and hunting they dont have time to hurt each other. Im not an expert but this worked for me.

 

Now if someone could tell me what is wrong with my Brahma Roo's feet!



uugghhh

 

I don't know why I keep getting multiple  quotes on here. It's something I've never even figured out how to do and today it keeps doing it.

 

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post #10 of 10

 

 

 

Can anyone help me with my chickens? 
This red rooster started to loose his feathers first. I thought it was because I have a larger and older rooster in with them and he was picking on him as he does. Well Snowball the white hen started to loose feathers around her face and neck, I saw the others picking on her when she was in the laying boxes I thought that was what was going on. Well then she and a few others have these bare spots on their backs. Do you think it is mites or what could it be. Please help!
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