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Bald Backs, Legs and Butt

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 6ChicksandaDog, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. 6ChicksandaDog

    6ChicksandaDog Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2011
    Waterbury
    Recently my girls all started getting bald spots on there backs, legs and butts. Before it used to be just one chicken and there was blood drawn so I know this was pecking order. Now its just clean bald spots no blood, I've been watching them and it looks as if they are pecking there own feathers off. A friend of mine said they are molting, but from what I have red they generally molt in the fall, which one of my girls did.
    They are just turning a year in April so they are still young, they all look healthy very active laying regularly. I use a special poultry dust in there coop to prevent mites, lice and see nothing on them.
    My question is are they molting? or could it be something else?
    Thank you for any information.
    Amy


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    You have some feather pickers in your flock. Time to spend some time observing them to see who the culprits are.
     
  3. nuttyredhead

    nuttyredhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Southern NH
    How did you get a picture of my girls ! lol! Mine look the same. Except now i have noticed it starting on the wings and neck of one. I have checked mine for red mites too. I thought i had the picker locked up but it is still going on.... time to get out and watcht the girls for a while! Of course it is 40 today instead of 80 like last week!

    Oh. it was mentoined to me that a lack of protein can cause the feather picking too!
     
  4. potocki99

    potocki99 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2011
    Northern Michigan
    Yep, this could be a picture of mine as well.

    I've added more protein to their diet, that hasn't worked.
    Don't bother spending money on BlueKote, that won't work, neither will Vicks.

    Next I'm going to try saddles.
     
  5. 6ChicksandaDog

    6ChicksandaDog Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2011
    Waterbury
    I have tried BlueKote, but all that happens is they have purple beaks. My girls get pretty spoiled with treats and other things I think may help with their diet besides there pellets. I even started using a "flock block" which they loved and had gone in almost a week. I even let them out of there run to have the run of the yard for there first time. Only trouble was they didn't know how to get back in the coop. [​IMG] I heard protein defiency, boredom. I'm just getting nervous because some of the girls spots look really red and irratated.
     
  6. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    Yeah.. I think blukote only works to stop blood related pecking. It camouflages the "red" blood. But if the pecking is related to order, boredom, protein deficiency - it probably won't change anything. I've got two girls getting pecked on the neck and they're now resembling the naked-necked breeds!
     
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Unfortunately, if the problem progresses for any length of time it turns into a behavioral issue that is nearly impossible to break. I would recommend that everyone take some time to observe their flocks. Pick out the worst 1-2 culprits and put them in chicken jail. Keep them separate from each other and separate from the flock for a couple weeks. Monitor the flock for signs of further picking and feather re-growth during this time. Any other birds get caught picking they should go to jail, too. Before long you will have chickens tucked into every corner of your home, sheds, garage, etc. if you are anything like I was last summer. Re-introduce them after a few weeks and hope that their drop in status prevent them from continuing the behavior.

    I will say that no amount of work last year saved several of my hens. Once they returned to the flock they were back to their nasty ways. I ended up culling out the whole top tier of my pecking order in a couple rounds. Once I finished the last round of culls the feather re-growth was amazingly quick. I couldn't believe it- 2 days later I had quills popping up all over everyone. I was able to salvage one picker, but she was a low level hen who continues to be the most submissive of my birds to this day. She tried to continue picking on the other birds and got beaten down several times until she avoided wandering too near any of the other birds. I will still sometimes see her pick up feathers on the ground and eat them, but she stays right away from actively pulling them off other birds.

    I hope this helps, everyone. I know the frustration of dealing with this issue. I nearly threw in the towel last year between the feather picking and the predation issues. I felt completely helpless to stop the disintegration of my flock. Once I finally took drastic action and saw immediate results...It was possibly one of the most rewarding moments in my poultry keeping history.

    Good luck.
     
  8. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    Thanks CMV... From experience comes wisdom eh? I may have to try jail...I know my culprits.
     
  9. 6ChicksandaDog

    6ChicksandaDog Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2011
    Waterbury
    Yes thank you too all! my girls seem to be growing there feathers back a little so I'm hoping that it was just boredom and by letting them out ever other day will help with that.
    Sincerely
    Amy
     
  10. kimthom66

    kimthom66 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2013
    Southeastern CT
    Unfortunately, if the problem progresses for any length of time it turns into a behavioral issue that is nearly impossible to break.  I would recommend that everyone take some time to observe their flocks.  Pick out the worst 1-2 culprits and put them in chicken jail.  Keep them separate from each other and separate from the flock for a couple weeks.  Monitor the flock for signs of further picking and feather re-growth during this time.  Any other birds get caught picking they should go to jail, too.  Before long you will have chickens tucked into every corner of your home, sheds, garage, etc. if you are anything like I was last summer.  Re-introduce them after a few weeks and hope that their drop in status prevent them from continuing the behavior. 

    I will say that no amount of work last year saved several of my hens.  Once they returned to the flock they were back to their nasty ways.  I ended up culling out the whole top tier of my pecking order in a couple rounds.  Once I finished the last round of culls the feather re-growth was amazingly quick.  I couldn't believe it- 2 days later I had quills popping up all over everyone.  I was able to salvage one picker, but she was a low level hen who continues to be the most submissive of my birds to this day.  She tried to continue picking on the other birds and got beaten down several times until she avoided wandering too near any of the other birds.  I will still sometimes see her pick up feathers on the ground and eat them, but she stays right away from actively pulling them off other birds.

    I hope this helps, everyone.  I know the frustration of dealing with this issue.  I nearly threw in the towel last year between the feather picking and the predation issues.  I felt completely helpless to stop the disintegration of my flock.  Once I finally took drastic action and saw immediate results...It was possibly one of the most rewarding moments in my poultry keeping history.

    Good luck.


    When you say observe them, what should I be looking for? I have 2 hens that are bald one is really bad. I thought I observed her feather picking but wasn't sure and we had a long snowy winter so they were kinda cooped up (in run & coop) so thought it was boredom and lack of protein. I've done everything treated fir mites, increased protein, added a chicken saddle and it still looks terrible! Help! I may have to do what you've done should I separate just her? She seems to be in the middle of pecking order?
    [​IMG]
     

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