Hens with bare backs...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ameador1, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    We had (until this past weekend) 5 roosters and 8 hens - I know, the ratio was way wrong, but we were supposed to have gotten 3 roos and 8 hens - and were going to remove two roos after deciding which one we liked best.

    Anyway, late last week I noticed that most of the hens had small bald spots on their backs (they are all almost 8 months old), some bigger than others. I immediately assumed that this was due to the roos doing their thing - especially with so many of them. So, this weekend we removed three roos. We kept the most well mannered roo and one that my daughter has claimed.

    I also just noticed today that a couple of the hens backs are REALLY bare. From the base of the upper tail feathers towards the head close to 5 or 6 inches and about the same from side to side. They are covering most of this up with their wings, so I didn't know it was that bad until I picked them up and checked them.

    Is there anything I should do for them at this point other than wait to see how they do with the lower roo population? One of them had a spot that looked like it had been a gash about the size of a dime, but seems to have a fairly firm scab over it. I didn't see any other wounds, just the missing feathers.

    Any recommendations or ideas would be helpful.

  2. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Yeah, roosters get pretty enthusiastic. I had a few that would never give the hens a break. There are pads available for just such a situation, that protect the backs of the hens. I can't remember what they are called though...
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Chicken saddles or aprons. Two of my girls wear them. This pic shows Lexie trying to remove hers the first day they wore them. Ginger seems to think hers is just fine.
  4. I was bored last night so started looking through the personal pages on this site - hoping for great pics. One of the sites showed a hen apron made from polar fleece - easy and cute. It looks like you just measured the backside of your hen - wing to tail - cut two holes for the wings and one for the tail. Since it is fleece you don't need to hem or sew anything. Just cut and fit onto your chicken. Anyone know anymore about this technique? I have tons of polar fleece hanging around and a bunch of barebacked chickens.
  5. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    The pads are called saddles. Somewhere on this site there is a pattren for them. Even with one roo doing his thing your hens will come up missing feathers.
  6. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    Although in your case it is probably due to having too many roos--- I like to remind folks that sometimes it's a symptom of feather mites.

    As feathermites eat the feathers - they become weak and easily break---thus they get broken from even a "normal" amount of roo action.

  7. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    speckledhen, all of our chickens are large (Buff Orps, Black Australorps, and Barred Rocks), I see you have one on your Buff Orp as well - where did you get these and what size did you get them to fit her right? I was looking at some of these to protext from the roos as well as to hlp them stay warm until they get more feathers back (it's going to be getting real cold here soon in WV)

    Thanks for your reply!

  8. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    How can you tell if they have these kind of mites?

  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    have you heard of saddles? this is a cover they can wear on their back...least until it is healed...you might want to consider using them:
    (this link shows a chicken wearing one)
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    It is a good policy to look over your birds closely if they are losing feathers. Those two hens are the rooster's favorites and are molting as well, so the bareness under the wings is what you described. I got mine from Ditzzy Chick on here, but she isn't available at the moment to make any. They fit the Orps better than Lexie; actually, Lexie's is too large for her now that she is in hard molt.

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