Bald around vent area, now with quarter sized open wound


7 Years
May 30, 2012
Hi everyone-

We're brand new to chicken raising, and have 7 Barred Rock hens, and one mutt rooster. 3 of the hens are approx. 9-11 months old, and the other 4 are approx. 6 months, and have just begun laying. We've had them for about 2 months, and all seem to have settled in well. We went from 3 roosters down to one, this last weekend (Husband and brother had a butchering party). One of the older 3 hens has had feathers missing from under her tail, all around vent area, for a few weeks, and just in the last day or 2 has added a quarter sized open wound, not actively bleeding, but red. She's eating and moving normally, and I haven't noticed anyone picking on each other. I'm pretty sure she was having loose stools for a while, but I haven't seen anything abnormal in that department for at least 2 weeks. I've started limiting the "people food" we give them (fruit and veggie scraps, occasional bread leftovers), just giving all day access to soy-free layer feed. There's no way predators have access to the coop- what could this be? Thanks in advance for any advice...

If she gets poo on her bottom, it could be a flystrike when the flies lay eggs in the poo and then migrate into some small wound. You might be sure to check the wound for maggots.
have you checked the chickens for lice? Lice could be irritating the area and making them lose feathers. Any itching or scratching would aggrivate the wound and make it prone to infection and/or maggot infestation. Can you take a close picture of the wound? Does it seem open (wet flesh, clear, white, or green discharge, visable holes in flesh, maggotts?) or is it scabbed over? If there is no body parasites and the wound is open, cleanse the wound and keep it as clean as possible. If there are maggotts, you will probably have a lot of work to do.
Thanks for the suggestions-- the wound appears to be scabbed over... if so, should I just leave it be? As far as lice goes, I haven't checked, but do you think that more of them would be showing signs of this if it was lice caused? I don't know, being a newbie, so please fill me in! :) How do you check for lice? There's probably info on that on this site... I'll look into it. Thanks again!

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