Harried Hens


May 4, 2015
Hi, I am a newbie chicken rancher ;) with a herd of six I just picked up a month ago. I went to get them and they looked rough and the gal I bought them from said they had a rough ride to her place. When I got them home, they were bald and featherless in many spots. Most all seem to be growing beginner feathers back, but "BaldButt Betty" doesn't seem to be. Can they get pecked so bad they won't grow feathers? She is going to sunburn for sure come summer if not. I was told they were 7 months when I got them. Some day's now I get 2 eggs, others 3 max. Any suggestions?
Welcome to BYC!
Do you know what breed(s) your birds are? Some breeds are slower to mature than others, which includes the beginning of egg production, and it sounds like you purchased them at about the time they would have been the age where most breeds would be expected to be starting - so the stress of their condition at that time coupled with the move to your place could have further pushed that back for them....it is also possible they were not the age you were told. It is not uncommon to get 50-75% egg yield on a daily basis from your flock. Again, breed plays a large part in this as some breeds lay more frequently than others and if you have low producing breeds you're going to fall on the smaller side of that range, whereas more prolific laying breeds would yield days where you are closer to "full return" from your flock.
Betty's feathers may not be growing back because she may still be being targeted for picking by the rest of the flock. One thing you might consider is a "hen saddle" that will cover that part of her back. This will not only give her some protection under which to regrow her feathers, but will also protect the skin from the sun.

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