Help! bald patches on my hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chickenmama88, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. Chickenmama88

    Chickenmama88 New Egg

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    Ok this is my first time raising chickens and i know it can be common for a rooater to puck the feathers off a hens backside when mating. Which i have 3 hens and 2 roosters and all my hens have bald patches one with more damage than others which i know that one must be their favorite. But I haven't noticed it until today because my husband normally watches them but my hens are bald amd have black hard areas around where they are bald almost looks like the rooster have toen off skin amd it has harden around ot or something. Again this may be normal but really don't know the anatomy of a hens and I am worried they have an opened wound /infection and I am worried if it's even safe to eat their eggs tgey are producing. Also one hen hasn't been laying long but now she has stopped laying for almost 2 weeks could something be wrong due to her back because she looks the worst as far as the bald patches go. Thanks in advance
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Often times this time of year, the feathers are old, and they look like H3!!. They should be shortly going into molt, in which they will shed a lot of feathers, if the roosters are mounting them, those feathers come off first. As the molt progresses, new feathers grow in, the days get short, and the roosters are a little less interested. So your birds should improve in looks in the next few weeks. Once a bird is barebacked, they will not regrow feathers until they molt. They generally molt in the fall.

    However, 2 roosters to 3 hens is quite a bit of roosters. Generally it is better to have a much closer ratio to 10-15 hens per rooster. Sometimes you can get by with less, but that is a lot less. And if you are getting skin damage it maybe because of too much rooster. However, watch your hens around your roosters. Bare back hens tend to bother people way more than hens. If your hens are staying on the roost, or hiding out to stay away from your roosters, then you have a problem. If they are out eating and clucking and scratching like nothing is wrong, then that is a good sign.

    The eggs should be perfectly safe to eat. If one hen has quit laying, you might look for a secret nest, occasionally, a hen will find a place that she likes better to lay her eggs, and it can be hidden and nearly in plain sight both at the same time.


    Mrs K
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Mrs. K kindly provided you with lots of good information.

    I'm going to be much more direct.

    Separate the roosters immediately from the hens, then get rid of them.
    Treat the wounds on the hens backs..."black hard areas" is probably dried blood and could be infection.
     
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  4. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

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  5. farmgirllvo

    farmgirllvo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd get rid of the rosters, get ONE new one if you need them for babies
    The hens will molt very soon and get new beautiful feathers
     
  6. Chickenmama88

    Chickenmama88 New Egg

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    I have gotten rid of the rooster. But if they have an infection how will I know? Is it okay to still eat their eggs. How do I treat their wounds?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You kept one of the roosters?
    Is he still mounting the hens?
    How old are these birds?

    You treat a chicken skin wound pretty much the same as you would treat a human skin wound,
    keep it clean and watch for severe inflammation and pussy discharge that would indicate an infection.
    You can use any topical antibiotic ointment (like Neosporin) as long as it does NOT have a 'pain relief' ingredient..anything with a -caine prefix can be toxic to birds.

    Make sure the injured bird is not being picked at by the other birds, if they are picking you need to isolate the injured bird in a wire crate in the coop.
    It needs to be able to rest, get plenty of good balanced chicken ration and drink plenty of clean fresh water.
    Make sure the bird is eating, drinking, and pooping OK.

    Chances are the injured bird is not laying due to the stress of being injured, so whether or not you can eat the eggs should be a moot point.
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    If the birds are walking around, eating, clucking and scratching, I assume they are ok. Think of it as a scabbed knee on a kid. They tend to get over it. If the hen is lathargic, hanging in the coop, not eating, not moving much, or the other chickens are being very mean, well then, something is wrong and you need to do something.

    Don't worry if chickens are acting well, they probably are well. As the daylight begins to shrink, egg production also drops.

    Mrs K
     

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