In need of help/advice regarding 2 of my chickens losing feathers.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shanz7619, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. shanz7619

    shanz7619 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    30
    Apr 22, 2016
    Carlisle, Pa
    We just noticed today that our Rooster and our one hen both have bald spots on their back right where their tail feathers start. Now they are both darker colored than the other 4 chickens and the others are actually pecking at them in this area. They aren't pecking themselves. Can anybody tell me why my other hens are pecking at these 2? They just started a little over a week ago laying eggs. They are all the same age of almost 6 months old. And yes the rooster has been mounting all of them.
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Sounds like pretty typically feather picking. Could you please give some more info about your flock? What do you feed them? (be specific, including treats/supplements) How many birds total? How much space in your coop/run? What breeds? (Any RIRs?) Any recent occurrences that may be stressing them? (e.g. coop renovations, nearby predator sightings).

    With feather picking, the general treatment is applying an anti-pick solution to the afflicted areas (I'm partial to Pick-No-More) and putting the aggressing bird(s) into solitary for a week or two. However, causes of feather picking can vary, and it's important to try and determine the cause so it doesn't reoccur.
     
  3. shanz7619

    shanz7619 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    30
    Apr 22, 2016
    Carlisle, Pa
    We have 6 chickens and 2 ducks. We recently removed the ducks from the coop because we believe they were causing stress for the chickens.
    We think we found the cause of the pecking though. She only does it if they are all stuck in the coop. If we let them out to range for a while she doesn't bother with them. I had found a forum post about chicken boredom and think that is the reason she has been doing it. It's either that or jealousy because she has a very kind loving personality towards my husband. And the 2 she's been pecking at have recently taken a liking to him following him around like she does.
    We did look for bugs as well and found nothing on them.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,849
    4,072
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    She's not doing it out of boredom. The coop is too small. You need a minimum of 4 sq ft of coop space and 10 sq ft of run space per bird. Now, keep in mind, that's just a starting point. Some birds need a lot more space.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. shanz7619

    shanz7619 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    30
    Apr 22, 2016
    Carlisle, Pa
    Yea that's why we are letting them range again. We were letting them out and even though the ducks don't bother with them they were still going after the ducks so we stopped. As soon as our winter vehicle is up and running their run is going to get extended. We don't have the $ to do it right now.
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,849
    4,072
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Once overcrowding behaviors start, they can be nearly impossible to stop, even after the birds have plenty of space. Either build something bigger right now, or rehome a few and get some new pullets once a bigger coop and run can be built. Putting it off will only make the behaviors worse. You must act as soon as possible, if you don't want feather picking to be a permanent situation.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by