Brown leghorns losing feathers at their back end.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Mr Hen, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Mr Hen

    Mr Hen Out Of The Brooder

    31
    2
    34
    May 28, 2012
    Southern Missouri
    I have 19 hens and one rooster. I'm not sure of most of their breeds, but the brown leghorns are pretty obvious. They are a bit smaller than the other birds. All of our hens have just started laying. Last week, my wife noticed that one of the brown leghorns was losing feathers at its back. Now it looks like all of them are and it is progressing. I don't see it on the other breeds. Are there any suggestions as to what is causing this? I can't see any mites or anything. Is it possible that our rooster is a bit rough with them? Are the plucking their own feathers?
     
  2. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,122
    42
    143
    Sep 1, 2012
    South Central WI
    if they are on the bottom of the pecking order, it is very possible the other chickens are pecking them there and pulling their feathers off. My two RIRs have that happen to them all the time from my BRs......but it doesnt seem to affect them and they are laying just as well if not better than the BRs
     
  3. Mr Hen

    Mr Hen Out Of The Brooder

    31
    2
    34
    May 28, 2012
    Southern Missouri
    That makes sense. Is there something I can do? Do I need to add a food station or something so there is enough? They are such pretty birds, but they are small and skittish.
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    23,342
    1,243
    448
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    If feather picking is the case in this instance, an increase in protein in their feed will stop picking. Give them gamebird feed for several weeks, then wean them back to regular feed.
    Your rooster could be overmating with his favorite birds. Purchase chicken saddles/aprons for the affected hens.
    Also, visually inspect your birds closely for lice.
    If you have any birds that are over 1 year old, molt is a possibility as well.
    I suspect your roo is overmating your hens.
     
  5. Mr Hen

    Mr Hen Out Of The Brooder

    31
    2
    34
    May 28, 2012
    Southern Missouri
    After looking at the pictures in this thread, I'm beginning to suspect they are just molting. The feather loss looks just like this except the skin is not so red. They also have started to lose a bit on their chest. I did get some game bird food, so I'll use it. That stuff is spendy though.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by