Bald hens from bullying-suggestions?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ellie97, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. ellie97

    ellie97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2011
    Hi,
    So, not an emergency, but I figured this was the best section for this. Some of my hens, 2 in particular, are getting quite bald from being picked on (I assume) by the other chickens. I had a flock of about 20 hens of all different breeds (Americanas, a silkie, RIR's, Brahmas, Australorps, Barred Rocks, and a Welsummer) as well as an adorable Silkie rooster. Recently I added 5 youngsters to the flock-four silkies whose gender I'm not sure of yet and a Mille Fleur D'uccle rooster. They are about 4 months old. For the past few months, I've been noticing more and more that some of my hens are looking more and more bald. I'm used to noticing a little bald spot here and there, but these girls have big bald spots on the heads and necks that are concerning me. 2 of the 3 Black Australorps show this (one much worse than the other), and one of my Americanas as well. Both seem perfectly healthy, laying, etc. They eat an Organic Layer Pellet feed that I believe is by Southern States as well as veggie/fruit scraps from our house. The hens are all laying really well right now (I get 10-15 eggs a day, which is awesome in this Georgia heat for 3 and 4 year old hens!) and just seem perfectly happy and healthy so I have no idea why this has suddenly become a problem. Could it be a developed skin sensitivity of some sort? I will post pictures. Thank you!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]Sorry these pictures aren't the best-they had just gotten let out of the coop and they were in no mood to have their pictures taken. ;)
     
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    First, check them VERY carefully for any mites. Look all over their bodies, the perches, and the nests.

    OK, once you know it isn't mites....

    Sit and watch the flock, sometimes it is only one or two that are feather eaters, sometimes it is the entire flock.

    If there is only one troublemaker, the easiest solution is eat the culprit. Problem solved.

    Other options:
    - increase protein levels in feed
    - increase toys/activities
    - give everyone much more space
    - put "pinless peepers" on the ones causing the problem.
     
  3. ellie97

    ellie97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2011
    Okay-I will. If there is one that is eating feathers, it will just have to find a new home with someone who will deal with the problem, because I could never kill any of my animals-they are pets. But thank you so much for the suggestions!
    Mary
     
  4. ellie97

    ellie97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2011
    The hens DO have mites!!! :( I feel like such a bad chicken mom. I've never had a problem before. What can I do for treatment? I think a lot of my chickens have them because I checked one of my hens that just has one small bald spot on her neck and she has the nasty little things all over her too.
     
  5. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake


    Eek!

    First, don't feel bad! Mites are sneaky little things.

    Second, go to the search bar at the top of this page and type in something like "how to treat for mites". I am sure there must be MANY pages of great information here on BYC that you can read through.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful than telling you to do a search, but I have never had mites. :confused:
     
  6. ellie97

    ellie97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2011
    Thank you! I didn't know you could do that!
     
  7. ellie97

    ellie97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2011
    So, I bought some Red Lake diatomaceous earth powder as well as some Sevin 5% powder today, then came home, stripped the chicken coop ( it's quite big, meant to house up to 50 birds) then sprinkled the earth powder everywhere, then the Sevin powder in the super sandy spots where the girls like to dust-bathe. I left it beddingless for the time being because I wasn't sure if adding the bedding would give the mites somewhere to go and escape from the chemicals. I also put 3 shallow containers with about 4-6 inches of wood ash in the coop with the Sevin 5% mixed in. Finally, I thoroughly dusted with the Sevin powder every single hen that showed any signs of infestation, which was about 10-15 of the 22. I lost count-I just kept grabbing chicken after chicken and dusting away. :) Anyway, just wanted to share what I had done and I will let you all know how it turns out!
     
  8. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake


    It sounds good.

    And I think having no bedding sounds like a good idea.

    Don't forget to give the perches and nest boxes a really good scrubbing too. I think the more crazy/anal you are now, the less likely you will have to do it again.
     
  9. ellie97

    ellie97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2011
    Success! The flock seems to be completely mite-free! I checked some of the hens that were the most heavily infested, and not a single mite to be seen! [​IMG]
     
  10. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake


    Yeah! :woot

    I can't remember, but I think I read that you need to do it all a second time, to get any eggs that just hatched? Maybe after 10 days or something?

    Great news though!
     

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