Bald butts

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sherry Abbot, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. Sherry Abbot

    Sherry Abbot Out Of The Brooder

    15
    1
    24
    Jun 2, 2015
    I have several chickens that are losing their feather below their vent as pictured below. Some also have a bald spot on top just before the tail feathers. They all act fine and are laying well. I have no idea what is causing it. The hens range from 1.5 years old to less than a year. Please advise.[​IMG][/IMG][​IMG][/IMG][/IMG]
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

    13,842
    2,717
    416
    Jan 10, 2013
    Macon,GA
    If you have ruled out mites and lice, then IMO feather pecking is the answer.
     
  3. Sherry Abbot

    Sherry Abbot Out Of The Brooder

    15
    1
    24
    Jun 2, 2015
    I am beginning to think it is fearger picking. It only started since winter and
     
  4. Sherry Abbot

    Sherry Abbot Out Of The Brooder

    15
    1
    24
    Jun 2, 2015
    I hit send before I was ready. I am beginning to think it is feather picking. We dusted for mites/lice a few months back and have seen none. This seems to have started since winter. I am not able to let them out to free range as much because I work and there is only about an hour of daylight left when I get home. Weekends they get more free ranging. I think they are bored. I put a mirror up, they have a swing and lots of roosting in their outdoor runs. I don't know what else to do to help with the boredom. I have two hens that have never been broody before suddenly turned broody. I have 28 hens.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,960
    2,950
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Did you treat the premises when you dusted for mites and lice? If you have mites, just dusting the birds isn't adequate.

    The baldness could be from slow molt, too. There should be an even distribution of pin feathers, though, if it's molt.

    You would be able to figure out the cause better if you spent some time observing the behavior of your flock. With that many chickens, they need a very large run to avoid crowding if they spend much time penned up.

    I'm trying something new for feather picking in my flock. B-complex vitamins. I read recently where the addition of B vitamins, niacin in particular, can curb cannibalism in omnivorous animals. I've been giving my four cannibals half a tablet each of a super B-complex. It's still too early to tell if it's going to work, but you might give it a try. Can't hurt.
     
  6. Darla60

    Darla60 New Egg

    2
    0
    6
    Feb 5, 2017
    Almost all of mine look the same way and I catch them doing it when they are dusting the others come and pluck them at that time and also when they are roosting beside each other.
     
  7. KER414

    KER414 Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Nov 11, 2014
    [​IMG]
    I am having the same issue. Today is the first warm day we've had in awhile and they are dust bathing. Just noticed this spot on my Buff Orpington. Do you think it's mites? Or pecking?
     
  8. Ben henderson

    Ben henderson Just Hatched

    30
    2
    16
    Mar 2, 2017
    East Lothian, Scotland
    lice become quite obvious fairly quickly, look for a build up of material at the base of feathers, (eggs, especially near and around the rear) also if you look under the feathers thouroughly you will see movment. Skin also becomes irritated. But from the photo it looks quite a clean bald patch, like the feathers are plucked.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,960
    2,950
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Mites don't live on the chicken. However lice do. Last summer, my chickens had a severe lice problem. Some of the butts looked just like that Orpington. The lice are just now getting started on chickens as the weather warms up. I noticed mine have them again, so I dipped them in Elector PSP, a biological pest control agent that requires no egg withdrawal. It's important to get the lice early before they lay eggs on the feather shafts, which appear like dirty cement and just as hard.

    The lice will irritate the skin as they bite and suck blood and the feathers will fall out, exposing the skin as we see in the photo.

    Mites live in crevices in the coop and come out at night to feast on the chickens, then return to their crevices by morning, like vampires. You need to treat the coop when you discover mites. The only way to see mites is at night with a flashlight as they crawl up the legs of your chickens as they roost. Lice are easy to spot as they crawl on the skin around the vent where they find the moisture they require.
     
  10. CWP1966

    CWP1966 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    2
    27
    Oct 3, 2015
    Same problem here. Act healthy, lay great. They've been doing this since they were 5 weeks old. I treated them for mites/lice. Birds and coop/run. All my other chickens are fine. It's weird. They have plenty of room,plenty of protein. Some of mine are bare breasted. Even the polish rooster has been bald since they were old enough to go outdoors.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by