Is this a plucking problem?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rbreininger, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. rbreininger

    rbreininger Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2017
    SW Wyoming


    I have a flock of five hens. Two of them, the White Lace Wyandottes only, have missing feather just before the tail feathers on their backs.

    Is this an indication of feather plucking by the others or a disease?

  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Hi [​IMG] Welcome To BYC

    There could be some picking going on. Watch to see if any of the hens are picking at them, especially at night while roosting. Check them over for any signs of lice/mites.

    The location of the missing feathers looks like it is near their oil gland, they may be picking/plucking their own feathers when they preen.
  3. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Do you have a rooster? That area of the back is prone to wear when a rooster is mating the hens. There should be damaged feathers in that area.

    Do you permit you flock to free range? Is this damage on this one hen only? If yes to both questions, this could be from an aborted hawk attack. A hawk will swoop down for an attack, but if the target moves a few inches before contact, the hawk will get only a hand full of back feathers. This happened to one of my hens recently.

    Check the skin in that area. If there are no pin feathers dotting the bald spot, and there are no other broken or frayed feathers around the bald spot, you can probably assume you hen survived a hawk attack.

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