Are my bald butts just a result of picking?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicky Joy, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2008
    I have had several chickens with bald buts for a very long time, seems like it started last winter. I haven't worried too much about it as they didn't seem to be doing badly otherwise. I have noticed an increase in the hens picking on each other. They have a good amount of room to roam, inside and out. How do I get them to quit picking? Could the bald butts be from something else?
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Have you checked for mites?
    I routinely check for mites by going into the coop after dark and using a flashlight to check around the vent around of each chicken. Look for something that looks like black or red pepper sprinkles. Also, check the crevices and corners of your roost and coop.
  3. mendygnl

    mendygnl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2009
    Glidden, IA
    My hens started pecking, just because they were bored. I got cabbage for them, cut the head in half, and hung it from the ceiling just where they had to stretch to reach it. They LOVE the treat and forget all about pecking. I even saw one of them grab ahold and swing with the cabbage -- too funny!! [​IMG]
  4. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    My girls picked out their downy butt feathers last February. After much research, I think it was brought on by giving them too much corn as a treat. It happened during a deep cold snap and I was giving them a handful of cracked corn at night to help them keep warm. I think I upset their nutritional balance and they started eating feathers. They were doing it to themselves, if you can believe that!! My girls were baldies all summer (such a bummer) and then this fall they finally molted and grew back all their pretty fluff. They look good as new now.

    I'd check for mites (I never found any, but dusted them/house anyhow) first and then investigate food/space/boredom issues next.
  5. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2008
    I'm thinking it might be that they are bored. I've never seen any mites, and one of them has completely gotten her feathers back. I also noticed that the rest of them are getting some more feathers back. I was out in the coop for the first time in a week or two (we were gone and after we got back the hubby has been taking care of the birds) and there has been a vast improvement. Funny thing is that I gave them a stern lecture a few weeks ago about their picking at each other and that they'd better stop because the cold weather is coming. [​IMG] Suppose they got the message? [​IMG]

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