HENs with Bald / Bare Spots on Center of back

skibbittydoodle

Hatching
Jun 8, 2020
3
2
1
Had Chickens 5 or 6 years now. We have brown leghorns & Isa Browns this time round. We did have a Rooster not too long ago, but he was better suited for pot pie than in the yard. Our girls have bald or bare spots on their backs, exactly where their feathers begin to fold upward for the tail butt region. Bald spots definitely began when the rooster was around, but seem to have continued / increased with him gone (Or at very least, NOT gotten any better). I guess the usual suspects are mites, or something like that. Anybody know the best way to fix this issue?
 

HeatherKellyB

🐓Chronic Rambler🦆
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2019
3,834
7,679
567
Moore County, NC
Hi! I have experienced the same with my 2 Easter Egger Pullets, one drastically worse than the other (they're flock consists of 6 pullets). I removed the cockerels and the balding continued and even worsened. Finally I noticed the pullet at the bottom of the pecking order would walk by and pluck a feather, every time they passed each other. My problem was that they didn't have adequate space. Their coop and run was too small. The problem has resolved with one of the EE, but the other one is very slowly feathering in. I have to use a "pick no more" staining lotion with a smell that deters. I am also treating for lice, but the lack of space was the main issue. This was my experience and I hope that you can get to the bottom of what's going on with your flock. Best wishes
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,551
10,947
611
North Florida

skibbittydoodle

Hatching
Jun 8, 2020
3
2
1
Hi! I have experienced the same with my 2 Easter Egger Pullets, one drastically worse than the other (they're flock consists of 6 pullets). I removed the cockerels and the balding continued and even worsened. Finally I noticed the pullet at the bottom of the pecking order would walk by and pluck a feather, every time they passed each other. My problem was that they didn't have adequate space. Their coop and run was too small. The problem has resolved with one of the EE, but the other one is very slowly feathering in. I have to use a "pick no more" staining lotion with a smell that deters. I am also treating for lice, but the lack of space was the main issue. This was my experience and I hope that you can get to the bottom of what's going on with your flock. Best wishes

Wow - overcrowding. Never thought of that. I've got 7 birds in a 10x8 ft enclosure, but I was thinking about upsizing anyway. Thanks for the advice. I think, I'll open up the run and see what happens.
 

skibbittydoodle

Hatching
Jun 8, 2020
3
2
1
Sometimes when they have a bare spot it will attract picking at feather shafts they can see. The feathers often won't grow back until they molt. You can also use hen saddles to help cover the area until then. As mentioned above, overcrowding is the biggest cause of feather picking by flockmates.
www.hensaver.com
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/free-chicken-apron-saddle-pattern.424354/#post-5201261
Never heard of a hen saddle. I'll check it out. Thank you!
 

coloradowildflower

Crowing
12 Years
Jul 12, 2008
319
198
261
Utah
5 steps:
1-Blu-Kote (a purple spray that both disinfects the area and hides it from other chickens.
blukote.jpg

2-Address overcrowding/boredom issues (for boredom: try flock blocks, a head of lettuce, make sure they have a good dirt-bathing area etc.)
3-Check nutrition. Are they getting enough protein?
4-If, after a few days, you're not seeing feathers pushing back up in that area, they're still picking and you'll need aprons/saddles for 2-3 weeks:
hen saddle:apron.jpg


5-Alternatively, and also if it's too hot in your area for them to wear saddles comfortably this time of year, or if you remove the saddles and they turn back to picking even if you've looked at overcrowding/boredom relief/nutrition, I've had great success with pinless peepers left on for 1-2 months. This is for the pickers, not the pick-ees. That means you'll have to observe and see who is picking, then give them the goggles for a few weeks, then they seem to stop doing it and goggles can be removed.
pinless peepers2.jpg


After these steps, if you're still having picking problems, you may need to look at removing your pickers from the flock, but I've never had any problems after implementing these 5 steps. Good luck!
 

HeatherKellyB

🐓Chronic Rambler🦆
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2019
3,834
7,679
567
Moore County, NC
Sometimes when they have a bare spot it will attract picking at feather shafts they can see. The feathers often won't grow back until they molt. You can also use hen saddles to help cover the area until then. As mentioned above, overcrowding is the biggest cause of feather picking by flockmates.
www.hensaver.com
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/free-chicken-apron-saddle-pattern.424354/#post-5201261


YES! I noticed that as well! Plus, the bald skin almost looks a bit shiny and then with feather shafts starting to come in, flockmates will certainly peck/pluck, even after spacing issue is resolved. I didn't realize this and figured things would resolve once I addressed the space issue, but it didn't. The visual problem, caused by the pecking/plucking problem, caused by inadequate space problem, (That was a lot but I was just showing how "one thing leads to another") may take a few steps to fix everything. I wish you all the very best with your flock.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom