Bare butt chicken

TTownChics

Chirping
Mar 22, 2015
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6
71
So one of my orpingtons has a bald spot around her butt. She's had it a while. I feel like it got better but now it's not getting any better. I don't see her actively plucking but I'm not out there all day watching. I don't see anything when I pick her up and look.

Any ideas on what could be the cause?
 

TwoCrows

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Look closely at the skin. Do the feathers look as if they are being chewed off? (you will see the stubs of the feather on the skin.) Or are they being plucked out completely? (you will only see smooth skin)

If this has been going on quite a while and you see stubs of the feathers, she may have depluming mites. You will also see horizontal lines of thinness in other feathers, especially tail and primary wing feathers. These mites irritate the bird living up in the feather shaft and the birds chew their feathers off at skin level. These thin horizontal thin lines in other feathers are tell tale signs of depluming mites.

If there are no stubs there at the skin level, others may be plucking her feathers out. Either by boredom, they need the protein or from habit. If she roosts above other birds, sometimes they will pluck the bird above them. The bird herself may be plucking them out if she needs the protein, she is bored or out of habit as well.
 

TwoCrows

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Mar 21, 2011
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These bugs can certainly get on you but usually don't cause you personally much trouble. They much prefer poultry.

Depluming mites and leg scale mites are invisable to the naked eye. I have never heard of a case of these mites getting on humans.
 

TTownChics

Chirping
Mar 22, 2015
111
6
71
Yes just the one hen. We looked at her today and mostly, they are taken clean off. A few have stubs but I couldnt tell if it was new feather coming in or chewed. I looked at her skin and it wasnt red or irritated. I didnt see nits from lice either. I know mites are invisible so not sure what is going on.
 

TTownChics

Chirping
Mar 22, 2015
111
6
71
She has had it at least a month, maybe more.

All my hens are about 10months. Some have started to moult in the last week which I am surprised but I read that some breeds can moult young.
 

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