Balding Chicken

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by fuzzy5chicks, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. fuzzy5chicks

    fuzzy5chicks In the Brooder

    Aug 7, 2013
    I have a bald chicken. Not as in white, but she seems to be losing feathers. Her name is Dandy.
    She has a bald patch near her tail, and her other tail feathers seem to be thinning out. Is it possible that they are over-crowded? We have 32 ft^2 for 7 chickens. 4 of the chicks in their coop are new (well, 3 because one recently died). Could the stress be causing her to lose her feathers? Is their some sort of mite that is causing her to lose feathers? I have also noticed feather loss in some if the other chickens as well. The cold winter weather of Michigan is coming, so I am worried about them losing feathers and getting too cold. Is that an eminent problem in the winter if they don't have feathers in an area of their bodies? How should I solve this problem? Are their medications or treatments for the chickens if there are mites?
    We have thoroughly cleaned the coop and added new bedding to hopefully reduce problems with pests (it will at least keep them warm). What else can I do to help them? Also, is it possible for these mites or feather loss to cause death?
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How old are they? They may be molting if they are 18 months old.

    That space is kind of tight and it may be that those feathers have been picked off by another bird.

    To check for lice or mites, take the birds off the roost at night and part their feathers all the way down to the skin around vent, head and neck and under wings to look for pests. Wearing a headlight and having someone hold the bird while you look helps alot.

    Is the bald bird one of the new ones?
    How did you integrate the new birds?

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:

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