Feathers missing around vent, Why?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by critterlover, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. critterlover

    critterlover Out Of The Brooder

    95
    0
    39
    Apr 15, 2009
    Connecticut
    I just noticed this morning that one of my hens has feathers missing around her vent. I do not have a roo and my girls do not peck at each other. As a matter of fact they get along very well. They are six months old and I believe most of them are laying eggs at this point. She is eating, drinking and acting fine.

    We have had very warm weather here for CT, it was 67 degree just a couple of days ago, but has become in the 30's - 40's the last day or so. The coop, run and nesting boxes are very clean and dry. The other girls seems to have full feathers. What could this be? Does it have anything to do with her being a new egg layer?

    Here are photos I just took. Any advice is greatly appreciated.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Peepin out of the egg

    Peepin out of the egg Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Nov 26, 2009
    Canada
    Nope!Don't gots a clue!:hedang me!I hope it is nothing to bad!:hitAnd NO! NO hiding under the chair![​IMG]
     
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

  4. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

    683
    5
    161
    Oct 26, 2007
    Definitely check for mites. But it wouldn't surprise me if the others are pecking on her.
     
  5. rocmoc

    rocmoc Out Of The Brooder

    57
    0
    39
    Mar 21, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    Pecking by the other hen/hens. I finally catch my two that were doing the same thing to the rest of the girls and removed them from the flock.

    rocmoc n AZ
     
  6. critterlover

    critterlover Out Of The Brooder

    95
    0
    39
    Apr 15, 2009
    Connecticut
    When I closed up the coop I picked her up and got a much closer look to see what was going on. The feathers are actually missing above her vent. I was surprised to see a small amount of blood on the skin. There was no pecking of the flesh, but two feathers were broken about 1/2" from the skin. That is where a tiny amount of blood was from. Now I am wondering if she is doing this herself or are one of the other girls breaking off her feathers.

    I remembered a few days ago her tail feathers started to look crushed, not smooth. I thought it was strange, but thought she had backed up into something. I have seen this with parakeets if they are too close to the bars of their cage. I have no idea why any of the others hens would suddenly start doing this.

    From the link above it appears to be pecking by the other hens. They have a great diet, large run and a large coop. Seperating her is not an option, so how can I prevent this from continuing?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  7. critterlover

    critterlover Out Of The Brooder

    95
    0
    39
    Apr 15, 2009
    Connecticut
    I just read in another thread that feeding kelp meal can help prevent feather picking/cannibalism. Has anyone tried this and does it really work? How do you give the kelp and how much?

    Is there something else safe I can put on her fanny to prevent pecking?
     
  8. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

    683
    5
    161
    Oct 26, 2007
    There's some blue stuff you can spray on the area (Blu Kote??), but I think it can stain your hands.
    I always used Vick's Vapo Rub. It stinks and the others seem to leave it alone. But you have to put it on every day.
    It may be that that particular hen is low-man-on-the-totem-pole. My lowest hen had a totally bare butt for years. then I had a coon attack in June and 2 of the hens were killed. The lowest hen's butt began to feather-out again, so I think one of the ones who died must have been the perpetrator.
    But try the Vick's Vapo Rub. Smear it all over her bare area.
    Are you sure there aren't mites? They love the vent area.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by