Chicken losing back feathers. Fighting?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Pauline May, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. Pauline May

    Pauline May New Egg

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    Mar 22, 2013
    Las Vegas, NV
    I'm new to chickens and our flock is looking good so far, but it looks like one hen is suffering from maybe being pecked. I kinda ruled out mites since no other bird has symptoms. What do I do?
    TIA for any help.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It might be from being overmated by a rooster. Do you have a picture?
     
  3. hrhta812

    hrhta812 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 27, 2009
    Lebanon, IN
    Feather loss can be mites, normal moulting, being picked on by other hens, or from the rooster. Two of my EE gals started having this problem when we put a Buff Orp roo in with them. Around the time I noticed it, we had decided to do away with the roo as he was very mean, but our other roo, who was much nicer, was continuing the problem. Roosters spurs need to be trimmed to help prevent the feather loss.

    They will sometimes begin to peck at each other once there are bald spots, so BluKote spray can be used on those. We are now without a roo, so I expect we will see regrowth on ours, although I realize they are about at the age where moulting is expected - it could be both issues at the same time.

    If it's just one hen, she might be getting picked on by the others. There isn't much you can do about that - someone is always at the bottom of the pecking order. Overcrowding can make it worse, so make sure they have plenty of space, and give them stuff to do if they have to be cooped up, like scratch grains, food treats to peck at, etc.

    http://communitychickens.blogspot.com/2011/04/reader-question-why-are-my-chickens.html#.UfsPpG00cqM
     
  4. Pauline May

    Pauline May New Egg

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    Mar 22, 2013
    Las Vegas, NV
    Thanks for everyone's help. We don't have a roo so it might be a bit of overcrowding. We have 10 hens in a pen about 15 x 25 or so with the coop in the middle on stilts, as they have the space underneath.
    The hubby and I have been talking about expanding the pen, but for now do I need to isolate the hen?
     
  5. Pauline May

    Pauline May New Egg

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    Mar 22, 2013
    Las Vegas, NV
    One more question: At what age do they begin to molt? Ours are 5 1/2 months or so.
     

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