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Chickens missing feathers on their backs

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ok so I am not new to chickens, have had them all my life practically and I do realize that roosters will wear the feathers off their backs and tails to some degree however....I think I am dealing with more than that right now. At first that's all I thought it was because there were like five roosters to thirty hens so I took out all but  two roosters and then split one rooster to six hens that are the same breed. Now there is on rooster to six hens in one pen  and they aren't having feather issues AT ALL. Then the other pen has one rooster to 20 hens and even he has some feathers missing on his chest. Some of the hens look so pathetic that if I processed them part of the work is already done for lack of feathering on their backs and top of their wings and a few their butts. I haven't seem any bugs (lice or mites) and we have sprinkled them and their coop with louse powder a few times. I'm not sure what in the heck I am dealing with here so if anyone has any ideas PLEASE throw them at me as I really want to help these girls look better. They seem to act fine and don't act sick at all. I'll throw a pic in of one that is also broody so that's why she is giving me that don't touch me look.

100_0235.JPG

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post #2 of 7

Stupid question, I know, but molting? how old are they?  Any chance of feather picking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelINny View Post

Ok so I am not new to chickens, have had them all my life practically and I do realize that roosters will wear the feathers off their backs and tails to some degree however....I think I am dealing with more than that right now. At first that's all I thought it was because there were like five roosters to thirty hens so I took out all but  two roosters and then split one rooster to six hens that are the same breed. Now there is on rooster to six hens in one pen  and they aren't having feather issues AT ALL. Then the other pen has one rooster to 20 hens and even he has some feathers missing on his chest. Some of the hens look so pathetic that if I processed them part of the work is already done for lack of feathering on their backs and top of their wings and a few their butts. I haven't seem any bugs (lice or mites) and we have sprinkled them and their coop with louse powder a few times. I'm not sure what in the heck I am dealing with here so if anyone has any ideas PLEASE throw them at me as I really want to help these girls look better. They seem to act fine and don't act sick at all. I'll throw a pic in of one that is also broody so that's why she is giving me that don't touch me look.

100_0235.JPG

post #3 of 7

Does the roo have a bald spot like her's?  Her back is missing feathers like mine are from my rooster but if he is losing some too and it is not due to feather picking...it's probably mites.  There are two kinds, some you can see on them and other's come in at night and live and lay eggs in the cracks of the coop.  I do not know their names, you would have to look that up here but try getting some poultry dust and spread it around....my neighbor's were losing feathers and the chickens had fleas.  If it is not rooster or pecking related, it's a bug!

My life is 2 lil' girls( Gabbi & Morgan), 3 dogs(Luci, Jacki, &Tyson), 2 fish(Harper & Sliver), 1 Easter Egger(Lady), 2 Golden Laced Wynadottes(Gilly & Belle), 2 Buff Orpingtons(Sugar & Blondie), 2 Leghorns(Turbo & Nitro, my husband's), 3 Red Stars(Peaches, Nilla, & Mash), & 2 Golden Links(Trebby & Baby, she is so small). And a husband(Brian)! & I am Sara, howdy!  

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My life is 2 lil' girls( Gabbi & Morgan), 3 dogs(Luci, Jacki, &Tyson), 2 fish(Harper & Sliver), 1 Easter Egger(Lady), 2 Golden Laced Wynadottes(Gilly & Belle), 2 Buff Orpingtons(Sugar & Blondie), 2 Leghorns(Turbo & Nitro, my husband's), 3 Red Stars(Peaches, Nilla, & Mash), & 2 Golden Links(Trebby & Baby, she is so small). And a husband(Brian)! & I am Sara, howdy!  

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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

The rooster has some feathers missing on his chest but not his back. His are actually coming back in. It's mostly the hens but I dont see how one roo to twenty hens is doing so much feather damage from mounting. I thought about molting but they were all hatched between Feb and June of last year and I would have thought they would have new feathers coming in by now. We have dusted with louse powder for lice.....maybe I need something different in case its mites?

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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelINny View Post

The rooster has some feathers missing on his chest but not his back. His are actually coming back in. It's mostly the hens but I dont see how one roo to twenty hens is doing so much feather damage from mounting. I thought about molting but they were all hatched between Feb and June of last year and I would have thought they would have new feathers coming in by now. We have dusted with louse powder for lice.....maybe I need something different in case its mites?

They are an age where they could be molting - I've had molts from 9 months on up and my chickens looked pretty durn bad. Do the feathers look broken or just fallen off?

 

As for mites, try going out at night with a flashlight and seeing if you can see any bugs on the roosts or on the chickens.  How many Sq. Feet per chicken in your coop?

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Oh I don't know what the measurements are but its gotta plenty of room for them all, plus we let them out to range around most nice days.

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post #7 of 7

We have the same problem with one of our hens!  She is a speckled Buff Orpington!  If you find any good answer I would love to hear it.

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