1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Hen getting neck feathers picked off by another hen-help?!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by franklinchickens, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. franklinchickens

    franklinchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    295
    2
    111
    May 19, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    One of my EE hens, Violet, lost a bunch of her neck feathers right under her chin a while ago. I thought it was from when we had fenced them in when we were building a garden bed and she was sticking her head through and wearing them off. Last night, though, I saw our other EE, Mimi, picking feathers off of her neck. Violet just stood there as if Mimi was grooming her! She just picked off a bunch of feathers. Poor Violet has a big bald spot under her chin and I'm not sure what to do about this. I'm assuming since I saw this behavior that this is why Violet has no feathers there and why they aren't growing back.
    Is this normal? Mimi is one of the 'top chickens' in the flock and Violet is in the middle but at the bottom of that particular group (we have 3 different groups of hens going on). It didn't seem to be hurting her and she just stood there while Mimi did it but it was really strange.
    I guess if it is normal, I'll just ignore it - the area isn't infected or really raw - just looks kind of bad.
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    723
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    How long is a while? Could it be possible she's been moulting? I've noticed when my chickens go into molt, the others will take the loose feathers (the ones that aren't attatched to anything and just kind of get stuck in the other feathers) and eat them. They don't feather pick, because when someone is being put in their place and gets their feathers grabbed I definately hear all about it. I would think she would make some kind of protest if the other hen was pulling them out. Good luck, I hope you figure it out!
     
  3. franklinchickens

    franklinchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    295
    2
    111
    May 19, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    Violet did go into a molt last fall and all of her feathers came back beautifully. But then this area started losing feathers and we couldn't figure out what was going on. My guess was the fencing but when I saw the other hen just casually plucking her feathers and her just standing there, I thought it was quite odd. It didn't seem to hurt her, and it was the only place that Mimi was plucking. The rest of her feathers are gorgeous. Just this one area. And as far as I know, just this one hen who is from the same flock - we got them together and they've grown up together. I wonder if it is because that area looks strange - you can see the skin and it is a pink area. But watching them, it almost looked like a grooming thing. I'm just wondering if others have seen something similar.
     
  4. franklinchickens

    franklinchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    295
    2
    111
    May 19, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    Any thoughts?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by