hen missing feathers on back and raw bleeding back

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Gonda, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Gonda

    Gonda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2009
    I have a few hens who are missing feathers on their lower back above their tails, for 7 or 8 months already. I assumed from the start that this is the rooster's doing. They've gone through molting and their feathers have come back everywhere but on their backs. One of them is now particularly a concern, as I've noticed that the skin in that area is looking quite raw and there is some blood occasionally. I've tried separating her for a few days and fed her extra protein, then after a few days I let her back into the coop with the others and put some melaleuca gel on her back, hoping it would help heal and would deter the hens from pecking at her. But I saw the other day she was looking pretty raw again, so I've separated her again. I can't continue to do that though - doesn't make her very happy. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    If they are pecking her I would keep her seperate till she's completely healed. Or you'll be dealing with this forever. Have you seen the hen saddle or apron? might want to invest in one look on My Pet Chicken or google. they are to protect the hen from a rough roo.
     
  3. Gonda

    Gonda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks - I just did a search and see some sites that sell the hen saddles. Might be an option for that one hen. But now I'm wondering about trimming the rooster's nails or spurs. I thought that would get to the root of the problem since it's not just affecting the one hen. I've been reading up on how to do that safely. What would account for the feathers on the lower back being missing - the rooster's nails or his spurs?
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Why not seperate out the rooster until the hens grow back their feathers? I doubt that you will be wanting to hatch any chicks until spring. Do you have a proper hen to rooster ratio?
     
  5. Chickie'sMoma

    Chickie'sMoma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    Rochester, NH
    the hen itself can actually be doing this herself too! one of my hens was separated and i found her mutilating her back on her own! eeekkk! got a hen saddle for her and it has healed, feathered out and now there are no more problems! yeah!
     
  6. Gonda

    Gonda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickie'sMoma :

    the hen itself can actually be doing this herself too! one of my hens was separated and i found her mutilating her back on her own! eeekkk! got a hen saddle for her and it has healed, feathered out and now there are no more problems! yeah!

    I'll keep an eye on the hen to see if she's doing it herself. I still have her separated for now. I had them all in the coop for a week because we had an arctic freeze here last week, very cold, windy and snow for a few days. They're out in the run again now that it's warmed up again. So after a while, I'll let the hen out again and see if the situation persists. Being cooped up for a week didn't help matters (though I had noticed the bleeding a day or two before already).

    When I read up on cutting the rooster's spurs and toenails, I realized that might not solve the problem. If you break off the spurs (with the plier or baked potato method), there will be a new spur underneath. I don't really want to cut the spurs, taking a chance on causing bleeding.​
     

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