chickens pecked out other's neck feathers....

happy eggs yard

Chirping
Apr 20, 2019
101
233
73
N. Mn
So yesterday I went to my chicken coop and noticed one of my chickens whole back neck feathers were gone... and a couple of my other chickens had been pecking at her and a couple other chickens were getting pecked too (not as bad). She had been bleeding a little and I thought since they were attracted to red that they might go for it even more with it bloody, so I put some corn starch on it to help the bleeding and I thought maybe if I put baking soda on it if maybe they kept pecking her that they would taste the baking soda and maybe realize it wasn't okay to peck her and it was gross. so I put a layer of corn starch and then a layer of baking soda on it. hopefully it helps!!!! But I thought it was strange that JUST the feather was pulled out but NOT the follicul…
someone mentioned to me that maybe she got it stuck or frozen to something and had to rip it...? could that be likely? She woulnt go outside now b/c its to cold. Its winter and below zero so I would rather not separate them... any suggestians? thx
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
Nov 27, 2012
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Can you post some pictures of her?
Yes, please.

...and tell us more about your flock.
-your flock size(numbers, ages, genders),
-your coop(size in feet by feet with pics),
-and what all and how exactly you are feeding

Also @happy eggs yard
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
upload_2019-12-5_7-42-41.png
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
Feb 2, 2009
24,141
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Southeast Louisiana
Yes, if you will answer Aart's questions we might be able to offer suggestions for your situation. The more we know about what you are working with the more likely we can offer something that actually fits your situation. Of special interest to me is size of coop and run in feet or meters, numbers, ages and sex of all of them, and a bit on how you manage them. When are they locked up and when are they out and about. Is there a special place and time this pecking happens? Knowing about your climate could really help.

An open wound can be dangerous. Sometimes they will peck at blood or a raw wound, actually eating the chicken alive. It doesn't always happen but it is something to watch for. Some of this might be molting but that raw wound is worrying. It sounds like they are actually plucking the feathers from these chickens, not just eating feathers floating around. That's not from molting.

Crowding is a real common reason for behavioral problems like this. That's why the questions about room and numbers. If this has just started, maybe the weather has forced them into tighter quarters than normal.

The back neck feathers being missing sounds like it may be from a cockerel or rooster mating. The head grab is part of the mating act, it's necessary to tell the hen to raise her tail out of the way so mating can occur. But sometimes the males technique (especially cockerels) is bad or the female resists a lot so feathers can disappear or even wounds occur. I don't know what you have actually seen but the feathers and wound would be consistent with this. That's why the questions on age and sex, especially the ones being damaged.

It is possible if they are hungry that they will pluck feathers. That's not just running out of food but maybe a poor diet. That's why the feed questions.

Then occasionally you get a chicken that is just not right in the head. I don't know what kinds of questions to ask for that.
 

happy eggs yard

Chirping
Apr 20, 2019
101
233
73
N. Mn
okay, so I have 8 chickens, all hens. they are going to be one year old in April. I feed them layer feed and I give them a lot of compost.( squash, carrots, oranges, lettuce, etc..) ill send a picture of my coop and her neck this afternoon. they have a pretty good size coop... they can go in there fenced in court yard when ever they want. I put the general location in my profile acc thing. ya so ill send a picture of that stuff this afternoon! thanks!
 

happy eggs yard

Chirping
Apr 20, 2019
101
233
73
N. Mn
Here is a.picture of my chickens coop, Vanilla Bean (the white chicken is the one with no neck feathers), and the last chicken is Obama. So the black chicken in the last picture is kinda like the "ring leader".
Sorry these pictures have TERRIBLE quality!!!
I hope you can see every thing if you need any more pictures just tell me.
Today I heard her screening and opened the coop and they were all hanging up on her

I've set up a couple things so if I need to separate her I can, the "mini coop" isn't very big at all but I could let her out when I'm by her and if I separate her she had a friend I could put with her. Any thoughts? Thanks!!
IMG_20191205_155418.jpg
IMG_20191205_154632.jpg
IMG_20191205_154632.jpg
 

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rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
5,925
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Pac NW
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The photos are a bit blurry but the neck on the white one doesn't look bad to me. Looks like it could possibly be a molt and maybe the others were attracted to the spot after the fact? I have one bird that likes to pick on the bare spots on molting birds but it's very light damage so I don't interfere.
 

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