Bald spot - moulting or fighting?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Three Silkies, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. My three sisters (16 months old) are having a leadership battle. The little black hen Lola has always been at the bottom of the pecking order, but she recently began attacking Betsy (top hen) and subdued her, conducting a successful coup. But when Carson realised what was going on, she began attacking Lola. Yesterday I noticed a bald spot on Lola's back and all her tail feathers were gone. Today she has lost even more feathers. Inside the coop looks like a pillow fight. I'm wondering if she is moulting or if Carson is pulling all her feathers out and I should remove her in case it gets worse. This pic shows her full tail feathers before, what she looks like now, her bald spot, and the coop covered in feathers. Can anyone help with advice?
  2. Sorry, forgot to attach pic. [​IMG]
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Almost sounds like a soap opera lol. Inspect Lola for pin feathers, if you see them, she's in molt. If there's some blood, that means they've been picked.
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams

    Hi there Three Silkies

    I agree with dawg53 if you can see pin feathers she is molting.

    I have 4 bantams and while the matriarch rules, there is always some bickering amongst the remaining three. #3 in the pecking order picks on #4 but #2 is friends with #4 and always steps in and puts #3 back in her place.

    There is always more angst when one of them is broody. #3 is currently broody and therefore picking on #4 more than usual. She has managed to pull a couple of feathers but nothing like what you have in your pics.

    That amount of feather loss, without blood, looks more like a molt. Another possibility could be parasites?

    Broodiness, molting and parasites can make the gals more cranky than usual.
  5. Thank you both for your replies. I can't see any pin feathers (yet), but I also can't see any blood. And even though they are fighting a lot, the amount of feathers does make me think it might be moulting. Betsy and Carson have both been broody lately. And I am ALWAYS having an ongoing battle with mites. So true about it being a soap opera around here.

    GGBEAR Songster

    May 6, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams

    Hi again Three Silkies

    After years of keeping chickens and being vigilant with parasite treatments and coop cleaning, I recently had a week from H#$% with a mite infestation probably bought about by a visiting bush turkey and recent rains. I will not bore you with the details but I was to the point of burning the coop! [​IMG]

    A couple of things that I picked up in research and chatting to fellow Aussies was Neem Oil and Yates Success ULTRA Insect Control (available at Bunnings).

    While I doubt any coop is entirely parasite free, the above has got mine back to manageable levels.

    I am happy to provide more details if you would like.


  8. Thanks for that. It's always difficult to get advice on local products. Do you put the oil/spray on the hens or on the coop? I scrub the coop out regularly and spray with diluted Malabar wash. My hens won't let me touch them, but I put wood ash, diatomaceous earth and poultry dust in their bathing areas and hope it gets on them when they roll around. I also found a poultry vet who gave me some sort of liquid that I applied to the backs of their necks (when they were sleeping). I can't remember what it's called, but it was like Flea Spot for hens. Because I let them free range all day, I leave their run door open and then pigeons go in all the time bringing mites with them. I think the mite problem is fairly under control, but I'll try those products too.

  9. Thank you. I had a look, but mine's a bit different. There's no blood and the feather loss is from her back (including tail feathers) rather than around her vent. I'm really hoping it's just moulting and not because the bully hen is pecking all her feathers out. I don't really have a set up to separate them, although I could try and get an extra coop if I have to.
  10. GGBEAR

    GGBEAR Songster

    May 6, 2014
    thats from feather pecking caught the little huggers dgoing it trouble was each time she but over it was like bullseye lol

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