Help Rooster Losing Neck Feathers

Cider240

Chirping
Aug 25, 2020
18
33
59
I have a rooster who I noticed was missing feathers on his neck two months ago. He now is completely bare of feathers on the sides of his neck and the skin looks unhappy. I have seven hens and they all look fine with no feather loss. I don’t think it’s mites. I believe the hens are picking his feathers. Is there a way to stop this or discourage the picking? My chickens are on a high protein layer feed. What are your recommendations?
 

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Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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Feather picking happens sometimes. The hens may be grooming him and he may be letting them. Sometimes an antipick ointment can discourage pecking, and those can be pine tar, vaseline, bag balm, menthol ointment (IcyHot, BenGay,) or one of the commercial anti-peck creams. Look at overcrowding, not enough protein in the diet, or boredom from not getting outside as possible casues. But sometimes they will stand around or be on the roost in the evening, and may be doing this. I gave up trying to prevent my hens from picking out my EE rooster’s beard long ago.
 

Cider240

Chirping
Aug 25, 2020
18
33
59
I will look into ointments and see about getting more protein into their diet. I think it may be boredom they are not overcrowded at all, but they are not getting the free range time that the used to. Ever since the time has changed we are not able to get them out for ranging until the weekends. We leave for work before the sun is up and return home after it has set. We have predator problems so we don't like to let them range without someone being outside. He so much more handsome with those feathers. :D Thank you for the response. I'll try a few of those things!
 

roosterhavoc

Enabler
9 Years
Jan 5, 2012
27,507
60,949
1,231
Sometimes the roosters will do it themselves too. It’s usually boredom over everything else. Why some roosters allow hens to pick feathers I’ll never know. Whenever I’ve seen a rooster like that though he was doing it to himself.
 

Cider240

Chirping
Aug 25, 2020
18
33
59
I'll have to spend more time watching for this. I haven't seen him or the hens doing it, but it is getting worse by the day and we have been having extremely low temperatures causing me to worry. Any tips if he is the one pulling his own feathers?
 

roosterhavoc

Enabler
9 Years
Jan 5, 2012
27,507
60,949
1,231
I'll have to spend more time watching for this. I haven't seen him or the hens doing it, but it is getting worse by the day and we have been having extremely low temperatures causing me to worry. Any tips if he is the one pulling his own feathers?
If you think it might be him you can try baby oil on the area cause he might be itchy for a bunch of different reasons. If that doesn’t work I’d put pine tar on him wherever it’s bare.
 

Cider240

Chirping
Aug 25, 2020
18
33
59
I will try that thanks! No chance this is him molting right? He's 7 months old and the loss has been happening over the past 8 weeks, but is confined to his neck.
 

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