breast/neck feathers being self plucked?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by fishnet1971, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. I have a year and a half old hen that seems to be self plucking feathers as high up on her neck as her beak can reach. I am pretty sure its self plucked. I have seen her picking at it once in awhile. It does not get down to bare skin yet, but she looks funny. I have been watching it for a month or so, no bugs, no lice, no swelling, etc. eats good, all around good health. didnt worry about it. NOW I have another one with it showing up. They have not had a molt yet,unless this is it and its so slight?

    What could this be? should I start to worry?????

  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Look again for parasited. I had the exact same thing (feather loss around the neck sort of above the breast where the hens could reach), and it turned out to be lice. Very tricky to notice......Look under the wings, and also flip them over and look at the feathers around their vents.

    Could also be mites.....They will hide during the day in the coop, then come out at night to feed on your hens. You have to catch them with a flash light.....

    Good luck to you!

  3. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster 7 Years

    Mar 30, 2011
    Will 5% Sevin treat lice?
  4. Permitherin on the back is what I have used in the past. and Seven. I will definitly look again and make sure. thanks!

  5. update????? I checked the girls over last night really good. could not find a single mite or anything on them. Did find some stuff on their feet though. maybe bumblefoot. Could they be having a fever from that and be picking the feathers out due to the heat from the fever?????
  6. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello again! What is on their feet? Bumble foot is usually most noticeable on the bottom of their feet, and it will look like a big black scab. Sometimes their feet swell. They will limp.

    How do their legs look? Are they scaley? A pic would be helpful. Scaley legs and feet is a symptom of scaley leg mites, and can be treated by mixing Seven Dust with some vasceline, and rubbing that into their legs and feet. The Seven Dust kills the mites and the vasceline helps suffocate them. You really have to slather that on.

    Those things wouldn't explain feather loss though. Maybe they are molting, or maybe they're just bored and pulling their own feathers, or one particular hen may be pulling the feathers.

    What are you feeding them? Sometimes a chicken will pull and eat feathers if they aren't getting enough protein in their diets....

    Just a few things to think about....I hope you figure that out,


    the thread 'Bumblefoot?' right here with this one. I do think I have another hen that may be picking the other two girls. I watch her preening my roo in the same fashion during the day. I saw her try to do the same thing with the one hen last night and the hen jsut sat there. She has a messed up beak, so I wonder if that is what it is. I am almost possible the start of bumblefoot is from the pine cones they are penned in with.

    How are things?
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011

  8. ruthieroo oo

    ruthieroo oo Hatching

    Dec 1, 2016
    I'm not sure if this is where I post, but I have just got (6 weeks in) 2 chickens who have always been together, have lots of space etc but this last week one is pulling her fown eathers. She stopping laying 2 ish weeks ago with the colder weather. Worried there might be something wrong?!? [​IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by