bare bellies...feather picking?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mkwags, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. mkwags

    mkwags Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just got a bunch of new chickens to add to my flock. I was told they are a little over a year old. The majority of them have bare " picked" bellies. What does this mean? I am thinking how they used to roost, maybe it allowed for feather picking there as from on top they appear normal. And ... if a chicken is going to pick feathers off of another chicken, wouldn't it be all over, not just on the underside? Any thoughts? Please share any thoughts!
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Possibly they've been picking them themselves to provide nesting material.
     
  3. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    Sounds like nesting behavior, yes they would of pecked there backs and tail areas.
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I agree OR it could be that they had no roost in their former home and the bare bellies are from sleeping on the bedding. Does the area that is bare look red or inflamed?
     
  5. mkwags

    mkwags Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, if they are doing it to themselves... does that mean it is now a habit and they won't stop? Will they always do it now?
     
  6. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Broody hens do that, it's called a "brood patch"
    You can see part of the brood patch in this photo.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. mkwags

    mkwags Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, thanks for including a pic. Interesting.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Since you're seeing this on so many of them, I'd guess it has to do with where they slept. Unless that many were broody all at once, which seems unlikely. Feather picking is uisually on the back end or the top of the back, not the belly -- feather picking by others, that is.
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I agree. One or two hens bare, maybe broody. OP said the majority. I'm thinking they didn't have a roost to sleep on in their former home.
     
  10. mkwags

    mkwags Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for all the thoughts. I was getting discouraged at the thought of them being in the habit of picking out their own feathers. If it's a matter of needing roost space from now on, I can do that. [​IMG] We'll see.
     

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