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Chicken missing feathers

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

have a problem with one chicken who is always missing feathers around her neck and the center of her breast.  When I rescued her she was missing these feathers as a result of being pecked on by other chickens.  I quarantined her until her feathers returned but once again all of her feathers are missing on her neck.  Now she is also missing all of the feathers at the center of her breast, and it is bright red and bare.  She does not like to sleep on the roost so she now sleeps in a cat carrier because I thought maybe it was mice or something chewing on her feathers.  Any suggestions?  Is it possible she is pulling her own feathers out?  She does not have mites or lice.  I have tried putting different salves on her neck to make it unappealing.

post #2 of 5

She might be in a molt...Is she laying eggs. It might be her or something else pulling them out since the skin is red.

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www.coloredeggfarms.com  out of chickens at moment, but soon to be replenished!
Owned by (Tiramisu)
1 Australorp, 1 GLW, 2 silkies, 1 buff 1 partridge, and 1 silkie mix roo, 1 Barred Rock, 1 sex link, 1 Spangled Hamburg, 4 Iowa blues, 3 buttercups, and 2 Russian Orloff chicks!
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BYC Birthday Thread
www.coloredeggfarms.com  out of chickens at moment, but soon to be replenished!
Owned by (Tiramisu)
1 Australorp, 1 GLW, 2 silkies, 1 buff 1 partridge, and 1 silkie mix roo, 1 Barred Rock, 1 sex link, 1 Spangled Hamburg, 4 Iowa blues, 3 buttercups, and 2 Russian Orloff chicks!
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post #3 of 5

sad
Eleanor,
Your chicken sounds just like my RIR. My girl has been pulling out her own neck feathers since last December. It started after a chicken fight disturbed the way the feathers lay. Eventually she pulled out everything she could reach on her neck to the top of her breast.

I have repeatedly checked for parasites, covered the area with medicine/bitters, and she always goes back to it. Just last week she started to grown in new feathers and today she was sporting a new angry red patch where she yanked them out again.

No idea why its happening, nor any evidence that another chicken is doing it to her. Nobody else in the hen house has a naked neck! My RIR is the lead chicken, too, or at least 2nd in command.

After asking here about this, and the only answers were to check for parasites and to give black oilers/increase protein. Did all three and nothing changed. I am resolved at this point to just enjoy my 'ugly neck' girl.

Hope you have better luck-- and if you do, please share it with me!

post #4 of 5

I have a year and a half old RIR hen who I believe is doing the same thing.  She has pecked out most of her breast feathers, to the point where the skin is red and she even had a small scab from breaking the skin.  I've checked for lice/mites and found nothing.  I considered the possibility she might be broody, but the only other symptom she showed was trying to sleep in the nesting box once.  So... she currently is sporting a duct tape flack jacket! tongue 

It's working, but the situation is frustrating... she is otherwise healthy, happy  (free ranges all day, has good quality free-feed available, I have a huge coop with plenty of roosting space at night), so I don't know why she'd be doing this to herself.

Anyway, you might want to give the duct tape a try.  Good luck to you!

post #5 of 5

Update on Nugget--she still pulls out her neck feathers. I just am more shocked when she doesn't for any span of time. She also stopped laying eggs at age 2, about 8 months after she started pulling feathers out. Maybe they are related to each other? Only the chickens know . . .

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