Hen getting pecked bald

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AdiosCowboy, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. AdiosCowboy

    AdiosCowboy In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2008
    I have had three hens for two and a half years now. They get along fine and have plenty of room; in short, I have never had a problem from them. About two months ago, however, a feral/stray rooster started coming around my yard and preening for the hens. It didn't cause any trouble immediately, but today two of my hens started pecking on and pulling out the feathers of the third! I don't know if the rooster being around has anything to do with it, but it is the only new(-ish) factor I can think of.

    I have my poor attacked hen in a separate pen for tonight, away from the other chickens, but I can't leave her alone there forever. What is the problem and how can I fix it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    To me, that does sound odd after 2 1/2 years-I really don't know what could be causing that unless they are having to be locked up a lot due to the cold.
    Pulling her out is the right thing to do until she heals from the pecking, but they may very well start in on her again when you put her back.
    I wish I had some advice for you, but this would puzzle me as well.
  3. tammye

    tammye Songster

    Mar 22, 2010
    I also have some feather plucking problems going on, can be very hard to control. You can give them some protein, such as sunflower seeds, may help to reduce plucking. I have also put a hen apron on the victim, helps some, now i have the plucker isolated until i can get some pinless peepers, just read about them here, willing to give them a try, try prevent the plcuker from being able to grab the feathers, but still eat and drink, they look kinda bad, but....I have a naked girl in the middle of freezing temps. I also put utter butter on the exposed skin to protect it from frostbite. I have read to put bag balm on the area that is getting plucked, they don't like the taste, bluekote, pine tar? I think.

    I just read a thread were they said that if you give them to many treats, which I do, they won't eat there layer pellets and then end up with a protein deficiency which can promote feather plucking! stupid chickens are smarter than me!
  4. DelawareSilkie

    DelawareSilkie In the Brooder

    Sep 8, 2010
    It might sound like the rooster is causing the problems here. If your hens are desperate to mate, then they moght attack the weakest or lower-in-the-pecking-order hen to try to attract the rooster. Or if the feral rooster is a mean tempered thing, the hens might try to copy his traits, for some unknown reason.

    If this problem still occurs, all I can suggest is to eliminate the feral rooster, which might harbour diseases and parasites anyway.
  5. AdiosCowboy

    AdiosCowboy In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2008
    Thanks for your comments. I let all three out into the yard today while I supervised and began noticing that even though two of the hens (a Wyandotte and an EE) were picking on the third (a cochin), when it was just the EE and the Cochin nobody got pecked. It seems that my Wyandotte (already the queen of the coop) is the one causing all of the trouble. So for now I have her in isolation while the other two are sharing the coop in peace and the rooster is getting chased off everytime he gets within a rifle's sight of the coop.. I'm giving them all extra protein snacks and letting them have run of the front yard for more space every morning. Hopefully this will work out and nobody will have to go in the roaster.

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