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I think too much light is our problem!(bald spots update)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Christie Rhae, May 7, 2011.

  1. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently posted a message about my hens having odd bald spots, totally plucked bare.
    read-bald spots I have read all the info and am way upping their protein, letting them run free a lot of the time, I made suet balls and baked treat "bricks" and put whole cabbages in the pen when ever they must be locked up. I tried the duct tape but don't think I put it on very well cuz it fell of the next day. I have not given up on that trick yet.

    I have spent hours watching my 16 hens and have never ever seen anyone plucking each other or themselves. I have only observed the normal peck to establish order. I have figured the plucking must be happening when hens were in the next box and vulnerable to others. I have been watching close and nothing. I then figured the plucking was happening early in the morning before I let them out. I have been setting my alarm and am out there by 6am to open the doors. I even leave my baked treat "bricks" in the pen at night so they will have something to do with the few moments that they are up before I get the doors open. But still I see a bloody quill here and there!! Argh!!

    Well, I was talking to one of my clients while giving her a pedicure (I own a salon) and she is a fellow chicken nut. I told her all about my chickens issues and she said..."they are doing at night" I said "at night??" She said "maybe there is too much light somewhere". OMG a bell went off in my head! There is a motion activated flood light that my husband has set to stay on for 4 hours at a time before it shuts off and it TOTALLY shines on their coop. I have been bugging him for months to set it to stay on for 10 mins instead of hours. I have 6 hens who sleep inside and they have absolutely no feather problems. The other 10 sleep outside the hen house on a high roost and have light totally on them all night long. Of these 10 at least 6 have some sort of feather issues. I cannot believe I did not even think of that. I think the light is just bugging them and keeping them up all night and they are plucking the heck out of themselves!

    I will keep everyone updated if this fixes our problems. I hope those bald bottoms can grow back. I love big fluffy hens...poor baldies.
    [​IMG]


    I sooo hope this solves it. I am unscrewing that floodlight immediately!
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  2. gogoalie

    gogoalie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have that issue up here in AK...& we get GOBS o' sunlight in the summer time...
     
  3. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do your AK chickens sleep in a hen house or outdoors? I was so worried about my girls that slept outside then realized there are not really many predators here in Hawaii and the weather is pretty mild so just let them sleep outside the hen house. The girls inside the hen house are not affected cuz it is a little darker inside maybe?? I am willing to try anything at this point.
     
  4. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    ooo poor girls. Yeah the overly long night light is messing with their inner clocks and sounds like it is driving them bonkers. Is there anyway to shade them with a tarp until hubby can help fix the motion light?
     
  5. gogoalie

    gogoalie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ahh, yeah, my birds do have a hen house, & the know when to go in @ sunset...they do get some rest from the light...You should have no issues when you get them some darkness, then the feathers will grow back...my birds molted in Feb-March...thought they weren't gunna make it in the winter, but they're tough birds...& here, yer in paradise...[​IMG]

    If it presists after you get them inside, then I'd have a gander at sores, & see what could be causin' them, most likely some sort of parasite...
     
  6. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok.. light bulbs have been unscrewed. It is dark and quiet out at the chicken coop. Sure hope my girls get some real rest tonight...no midnight obsessive feather plucking. [​IMG]
     
  7. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The moment I woke up this morning I dashed out to my chicken coop to see how everyone was and open the doors. Of course they were already up waiting for me. I watch everyone closely as they file out past me. I am happy to report no new bloody quills on their tails! Just keeping my fingers crossed!
     
  8. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Island, Hawaii
    ugh! I am so discouraged! Gosh darn it I am trying everything and still....bloody quills this morning!!

    To be honest the overall plucking problems seems much better. But two of my bottom of the pecking order EE's are still turning up with tail feathers broken off at the quick and bleeding. I actually saw a RIR do it this morning. They were all happily eating papayas and the red just turns, eye balls the EE's tail and then PECK and blood. I gave her a (medium-soft) back hand and told her how much I did not like that kind of behavior then ran in the house to tattle on her to my husband. lol

    So I guess it is the "see blood cant stop pecking" thing that I am dealing with now. We are gonna have to try the duct tape again. this time I need to get it really stuck on there good so they don't get it off the same day.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    Sounds like a few of them are now habitual pickers. Try using Blue Kote on the raw areas. Also, pinless peepers are supposed to be good at breaking pickers of their bad habit.

    Keep in mind though that some individuals won't stop which means permantly seperating them out.
     
  10. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Blu-Kote did nada for me when I used it for my Houdan who got pecked bald by the boredboredbored hens last Winter.

    The only thing that helped was better weather so they could get out of the coop (their choice, they wouldn't "do" snow).
    She's completely regrown her crest, that was pecked down to the skin, so there's hope for your baldbutt hens.

    I'd try the peepers - I was going that way when Spring Sprung this year.
     

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