Chelsea is Bald

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ErinMaria, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. ErinMaria

    ErinMaria In the Brooder

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    Hi everyone!
    Thanks for the suggestions and advice from my last posts. Chelsea is doing very well! She’s regained her full appetite and is very mobile in my house! She likes to chase my rabbit around too. (Poor lil guy.)
    Anyway, it is now very cold where we live, tonight is the first temp drop of the winter season, down to 27 and holding strong. My poor girl is Very bald!! Her whole back even under her wings and all the way up the right side of her neck to almost the back of her head is missing all feathers. She’s just grown back skin in certain areas, scabs formed and came off nicely. Luckily I see little pin holes where feathers are forming so she won’t stay bald all over but now I’m concerned because of weather. I’ve let her out a couple times for a little while to peck around and dig with her 3 sisters and each time they’ve attacked her!!!(I free range in my yard that is fenced) But now I’m worried to let her back in the coop because they have been so quick to attack her. So I guess my question is when is it appropriate to reintroduce her to the flock?? And when should I let her in this weather because she’s so bald??
    My husband is getting sick of chasing her around to pick up chicken poop all over the house! Lol
    We kept our little starter coop that has 2 enclosed runs on either side, one covered, but she would be alone in there all night and it’s very cold now. So I could insulate with some bales of hay around it and pine shavings inside but again, she’s alone. Makes me nervous to have her sleep alone all night in a cold little coop with no one to snuggle and big huge (1/2 body) bald patches. Any suggestions to put her back in gen pop? Should I keep her in my house until she has feathers?? I sewed a chickensaddle out of cotton cloth but I haven’t tried it yet. She’s still very itchy from her scabs and I’m afraid will just peck and roll it off.
    Any helpful tips welcome!! What have you done with a bald chicken in winter??
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  2. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

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    Hmm. We had a sick hen once... kept her in a wire dog crate for several nights with a towel in the bottom of the crate. Even with a dog and a couple of cats, we had no issues
     
  3. BarredRockMom

    BarredRockMom Crowing

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    Hi! I haven't known about it been following Chelsea's saga, so forgive me if I'm catching up. First off, that's very sweet that she's allowed to stay in the house while she's healing. If she's bald in so many spots, then my suggestion would be to keep her inside until her feathers grow back. Now that it's turned cold (downright frigid in most of the country), she needs her feathers to keep her warm for sure!!

    Seems to me that the other issue is her saucy sisters attacking her. It could be happening because she's bald & they sense weakness, could be that she's been away from the flock long enough to have lost her ranking & is therefore being subjected to the "pecking" in pecking order, or possibly both.

    At some point, she'll have to be re-introduced but it'll likely have to be a gradual process. Same as if she was a brand new, unknown member. Perhaps someone else could weigh in & see if this sounds right.

    As for running around cleaning up chicken bombs, what about chicken diapers? I have heard of them but not used them so I've got zero experience to impart on that...
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Bald chickens do okay if they can find supplemental warmth from the chickens on either side of them on the roost at night. Chelsea may be okay to roost with the others at night. Have you tried it? Usually chickens are so focused on settling in to sleep they don't pay much attention to each other. The other option is to crate her up in the house each night until she grows in her feathers

    Chelsea should be getting back to her flock, even if just during the day. She will need a protected pen until she regains her self confidence. A few days in the safe pen should do it, and you can try letting her mingle to see how it goes. But try to think this saddle thing through.

    Saddles are usually detested by hens, and even more by their flock mates. They will persecute her even more if she doesn't look like a chicken, albeit a bald one. Try to let her get along without it. She would be much happier and not that much colder. Be sure she has high quality feed and protein and she will generate plenty of heat on her own.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    By the way, there is nothing wrong with continually updating a thread about an individual chicken or topic. They can become very charming epic threads, some reaching dozens of pages over several years. In fact, any old thread can be revived at any time, even after years have gone by.

    That way all the background is all in one thread, and people can choose to go back and read it from the beginning or just follow along from a current post. Doing your updates with new threads is not often the best thing for the people who wish to read your posts. I for one do not know Chelsea or her story, and I don't have time to hunt down your other threads on the subject trying to find the "prequel" to this one.
     
  6. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

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    :goodpost: Ditto! :)
     
    BarredRockMom and azygous like this.

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