Completely bald and red below the vent - what is wrong?


7 Years
May 17, 2012
Buckinghamshire, England
One of my hens, Sweetie, has had this for a couple of months or just under, I think. She did have a fairly large bum when I brought her, but only recently has this developed. I didn't really notice it becoming bald, I just happened to realise one day that her bum didn't have many feathers and it was quite red. I have been washing it every other day, to get rid of the faeces etc, but it doesn't seem to be going away.. I assume she has runny faeces, as it goes all down her bum, but that is just a thought. None of my other hens (3 others) have this. She seems well and is lively and eats a lot (and she is rather heavy compared to the others!), I'm just a bit worried if there is anything actually wrong. I will take her to the vets if no one knows what the problem is, and I can always buy some medication if it comes to it. She is quite tame, plus I have noticed that some of the hens peck each other's feathers to eat them ( not in a nasty way for the pecking order) - could this be a possibility for this? I look after their house for red mite quite often too. A few times I have found her sitting in the nest box at night instead of on the ladder thing, but I don't know if that has anything to do with this - it's not a usual thing she does. Can anyone help please?

Assuming she has no lice, I think she is being picked on. There isn't much on her bum area left for lice to live on, so I would check surrounding feather shafts. Look at the base of the feathers for hard white egg clusters. Also check the feather bases of the neck feathers. I would increase the amount of protein in their diet. Maybe consider going through one large bag of game bird food to see if it makes a difference.
Okay, I have checked all my hens for lice - and I can't find any eggs or anything, I have put lice/ mite powder on them all just in case anyway. I really don't know what it could be :/
I have just noticed this on one of my SLW.
This was after finding one of my hens dead this morning when I went to feed.
The gal I found this a.m. had no visible signs of a problem and had seemed fine the evening before????

So I am watching everyone else closer and noticed this hen with an area of the downy feathers under her vent missing (about the size of a tennis ball) and slightly red...not as red as these previous pics. Another hen has a few feathers on her head missing? Lice? What do you all use to treat?
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To treat lice and mites, I tend to clean out their house with Smite spray, and then I put Smite powder on my chickens at the root of their feathers around whole body. I also use another treatment for lice, but at this moment in time, I'm not too sure what it is called. I think I will seriously consider going to the vets - this hen is quite new to my group of hens, and I don't want her to die this soon!
This has actually made me quite worried now..

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