At what point should I intervene?


9 Years
Mar 6, 2011
Hello. I just got my first chickens on Monday (Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!
) and I am concerned about one of them. I got:

16 week old Black Austrolorp
14 week old Welsummer
14 week old Silver Laced Wyandotte
14 week old Blue Andalusian
12 week old Gold Laced Cochin
12 week old Ameraucana/Easter Egger (I don't know which. In fact, is there a difference?)
12 week old Salmon Faverolle

They have just started to get comfortable (I think) in their new home and now I guess they are working out their pecking order stuff. Like I said, these are my first chickens so this is all new to me. My main concern is for the Salmon Fav. She is now bald where her tail meets her back. I definitely think she is the low girl in the pecking order already. She is one of the youngest and also the smallest. The EE is also a tiny bit bald but I see her standing up for herself more whereas the Salmon Fav is very docile and just runs.

Another thing, this evening I went to check on them and all 4 older girls had settled themselves into the coop but all 12 week-olds were all outside still. I couldn't help but think that they didn't want to go into the coop for fear of getting picked on by the others. Eventually they all went in and I saw them push the Salmon Fav off the roost. She wanted back up but they wouldn't let her. The cochin wasn't up there either but she wasn't trying to get up there - she seemed to have sort of resigned herself to sitting under the roost. The Blue Andalusian was working very hard to get the EE off the roost but she wasn't budging. She was being pecked and stepped on but she stayed put. Later I went out and peeked at them and they were all on the roost. The cochin and the salmon fav were snuggled together at one end and all the others were snuggled together at the other end.

What do I do about the SF and her bald spot? How bad can this get? How long will it take for the pecking order to be established and once it is, will they stop pecking her bald? Is there something I should be doing?

Thank you,


8 Years
May 27, 2011
I have 7 Buff hens, 5 Aracaunas and 1 rooster and have had the same issue with the loss of feathers. One hen in particular is completely bald on the top of her head and almost all of her back. A few of the other hens also are missing feathers on their backs while some of the hens don't have a single feather missing. They are all laying well in spite of their feather loss. I tried the trick of putting Vicks on their bald backs and heads but this didn't seem to have any impact whatsoever. Someone told me to take Coke cans and put them in the coop for them to peck at the "red" color as they were bored and were pecking each other. That hasn't helped either. I have also tried the trick of suspending a small head of cabbage for them to peck at to relieve their supposed boredom. Anyone have any suggestions? My flock are doing well but certainly don't look very pretty.



9 Years
Mar 6, 2011
Thank you.

Has anyone tried this? Does it hurt the girl that you put it onto? I think it has menthol and/or eucalyptus. I'm concerned it could burn her.


10 Years
Dec 15, 2009
Wait scratch the vix I just did some resaerch and it said not to use it.weird cause i read a separate thread on here and it said it was fine but anyways i know of a better remedy,most feed stores sell thing i think its anti pick gell its a liquid that you put on the pecked area they peck it but its really terrible tasting so they stop right away
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9 Years
May 13, 2010
Just they have enough space? sometimes crowding will cause picking...also, are they getting enough protein? Protein deficiency can cause feather eating as well.Also,sometimes giving them something to pick at will deter boredom and help with pecking.

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