feathers pecked out!


10 Years
May 11, 2009
So, I have (I think) 7 hens: 1 maran, 2 wellsummers, 2 brown leghorns, 2 silver laced wyandottes. They all have feathers missing just above their tailfeathers, which is where roosters like to pull em out, right? But...I don't think I have any roosters. I haven't caught any birds pecking out any other feathers. However, there is one (a leghorn) that doesn't have a bald spot like the rest, but is also far from being at the top of the pecking order. We currently get about 5-6 eggs a day. Sometimes 2 are white (which means that each leghorn is laying since they give the only white eggs out of the bunch. I didn't see any mites are anything on them either. Any ideas?



Possible rooster below and the other leghorn is a very productive layer?


10 Years
Jun 10, 2009
I have this exact problem. I know that I have a rooster. The hens sometimes turn around and nibble and EVERY now and then one will grab up a feather and eat it. I also have one hen that is low on the pecking order that is bare too. SO what are the options? Well, the rooster, mites or some such, or feather picking. I can't figure out which it is though I think it may be a combination. Maybe a little lacking in protein and A LOT of rooster. No mites as I haven't seen any of them but it doens't hurt to take precautions.

In the end, after all these thoughts running around in my head I bought some seven dust and dusted everything to make sure, I bought saddles so the rooster wouldn't do so much harm and I am working on getting them some stuff to entertain them. I think they get bored easily with a bare run. On the low pecking order hen having no spot I must ask is she another type then your others? Mine is a Americauna and the others Barred rocks and RIRS. The rooster is a RIR so my thoughts are maybe he just doens't like my little oddball.

I hope this helps. I know how frustrating this can be.
I am right there with you so if you come up with any answers or ideas PLEASE let me know.


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 6, 2009
Madison, WI
I have a Welsummer that looks just like yours, with the exact same feather damage! I've had a really bad pecking problem this winter, thankfully now it seems to be over. I don't have roosters either, and at first I didn't see any pecking. I watched them a lot and I finally witnessed the only hen who didn't have feather damage pecking all the others and eating their feathers. I isolated her for a week and then put her back in with the flock and she went right back to her old behavior. Then I isolated her for two weeks. If she didn't reform, I was ready to cull her, but luckily the two weeks in jail finally broke her of the bully behavior. She's still toward the top of the pecking order, but she's not pecking and eating the others' feathers for fun.

I've also tried hard to give them lots of other things to peck at - I've got cabbage hanging, I sprinkle black oil sunflower seeds in their run every morning, and I've been religious about letting them out early in the morning so their not cooped up together for long in the morning.

There's pictures and a more detailed explanation of my ordeal at my blog .

Good luck!

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