Alternatives to help bare backed hens?


Mar 28, 2017
has anyone tried or heard of a different idea than saddles or that spray that turns the skin purple?

My hens are afraid of materials moving by themselves maybe instinct for hawks or something so putting a saddle on them is out of the question, i tried it once and it nearly scared them all half to death and that was just trying it on one hen at the time... they all freaked out including Roo lol

Also i know if i spray that stuff that turns their skin color, all the girls will be pecking at themselves and each other thinking its food, (thats why i don't wear finger nailpolish any longer lol)

any ideas or am i just stuck with nature?



Hatchi Wan Kenobi
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 27, 2012
My Coop
My Coop
How many hens and how many roosters do you have? Reducing the number of roosters or increasing the number of hens is the long term solution here, unless it's a few favorites that are having this issue, in which case separating them out to give them a break would be the best thing to do.

As long as the feathers on the back were removed completely, they'll start growing back in right away once the overmating stops. If the ends of the feathers are still left they won't grow back until they molt the ends out.
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Mrs. K

Free Ranging
13 Years
Nov 12, 2009
western South Dakota
The backs will not heal until they molt. Bare backs tend to bother people more than hens, some hens are decidedly more prone to them. In the long run, those could be culled, and the feathered back ones kept, and reduce the problem. Trimming the roosters nails and spurs might help. Too many roosters can make things worse.

Mrs K


Mar 28, 2017
thanks to you both. I know you're right about the overmating. I just have Roo with 7 girls, i had 9 but 2 died recently. he is a young roo, just a year so he's slowing down but is very concerned he does his job of mating i guess lol

i guess as long as they are ok i'll just look at their bare backs, i can't seperate anyone bc i'm in the desert and i can only accomadate one area to be air conditioned so there is no where else for them to go bc of the 115 degrees.

he is kind to them, he hasn't hurt them, or cut them just very active, i will jail him if he got mean or it got too bad.

he favors one above them all, but most are bare backed every since the springtime came along and the mating got serious

i personally would never cull my girls, i'm very close to them. to roo too, he's a sweetie

thanks again for your input!

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