Balding Patches on 6 of 8 Chickens - Non-Emergency

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by EggHeadedMama, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. EggHeadedMama

    EggHeadedMama New Egg

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    Oct 17, 2013
    Evergreen, CO
    Hi -

    I noticed today that 6 out of 8 of my chickens look like they are either being pecked at or pulling out their own feathers. I was hoping someone might have an idea. I have attached photos of a couple. I have 2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Americaunas, 2 Astralorps and 2 White Plymouth Rocks. The two Plymouth Rocks are the only 2 that don't have any damage.

    It was very cold here last week and got into negative temperatures and one night -23. They would not come out of their coop throughout the whole cold spell (so about 5 days). I am wondering if they got bored in the coop. However, I keep wondering since the 2 Plymouth Rocks don't have any feathers missing, maybe they are pecking a the others? But, having watched them for months, I always thought the Buffs were the dominant of the flock. I don't know - I am a first time chicken mom.

    The damage is either on the back or sides of each. No face, chest or backside feathers missing.

    Based on the photos I was hoping someone might have some thoughts on what is happening or suggestions about what I can do.

    (I'm sorry if there is another similar post, but I couldn't find it.)


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  2. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its possible there some pecking going on. Treat them for lice and mites just in case thats the problem.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    That or they are molting. We hit -20 the other morning too. I encourage the chickens to come of coop by shoveling the snow and putting down a layer of hay. The run also has a wood roost and two sides of run wrapped with tarp for wind shield. This year my birds seem like whimps compared to years before our birds would be outside excepting those two or three extreme extreme days of the winter. This year with new pullets they are reluctant to venture out when below 10F.
     
  4. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2007
    BC Canada
    If the feathers are broken off, it looks like that in the pictures, that would be the chickens pecking on each other or chewing on there own feathers from having mites or lice or lack of protein if the feathers are being eaten. Its possible to were they didn't want go out they got bored and started pecking.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  5. EggHeadedMama

    EggHeadedMama New Egg

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    Oct 17, 2013
    Evergreen, CO
    Thank you for the suggestions - I was watching them today without them knowing I was watching (otherwise they run over to me). I think they are doing it to themselves, at least they are messing with the balding spots. I have found some thread about pulling out their own feathers and in addition to your suggestions, I will try a few other things.

    Thank you!
     

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