Is this normal?? Big patch of feathers completely missing!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by OrganicEgg, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. OrganicEgg

    OrganicEgg New Egg

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    Apr 2, 2014
    Hi, we've had chickens for a few years and through a couple of winters and never seen this, at least not this bad... There's a big patch of feathers completely missing from one of our 8 hens. The spot is completely raw and looks terrible! We're switching into winter now where I live, but I still don't think this seems right... Any input?? (Please see pictures) Thanks!
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  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    That looks like feather pecking....Could be mites or lice...?

    What are you feeding them?
     
  3. OrganicEgg

    OrganicEgg New Egg

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    Apr 2, 2014
    I think that it is feather plucking. I wasn't sure if she was doing it to herself or if other chickens were but after watching them more today, I think the other chickens are pecking her... I don't know what to do about it because they all huddle together at night for warmth so I don't want to separate her, also for fear of them not accepting her back... But I don't want to just leave her to be pecked at either [​IMG]
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    How big is the coop and run? Have you checked her over for mites or lice?
     
  5. OrganicEgg

    OrganicEgg New Egg

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    Apr 2, 2014
    The indoor area is 6' x 8' with an insulated portion of about 3' x 4' inside of that where they sleep (we live in a very cold climate). Then the outdoor run off of that is 6' x 6'.

    Yes, checked her for mites and lice and did not see any.

    She's had some issues that we never really figured out what was wrong with her, but she's been getting along just fine for months, probably almost a year, until now. She's just a little off, one of her eyes is foggy, I'm not sure if she can see out of the one eye or not. And she's got a constant head bob going on. But she's always done fine with the others and taking care of herself. I'm guessing maybe they're starting to pick on her because of those problems, because she's a little slower than the others. [​IMG]
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    That is a very small area for 8 standard sized hens. Could be that the small space is contributing to the picking. Generally, you need a minimum of at least 10 sq feet of run space per bird.
     
  7. OrganicEgg

    OrganicEgg New Egg

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    That could be, but they do have free roam of the entire area at all times, indoor and out, so excluding just the insulated portion, technically their "run" comes to 9 sq ft per bird, so not too far off. Maybe they are bored though, I'm going to try adding some kind of toys or something they can entertain themselves with and see if that helps any
     
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    General guidelines are 4 sq ft of coop/shelter space and 10 sq ft of run space, for a total of 14 sq ft of living space. Now that is just a starting point. Some breeds, and some individuals, need more room than that.
    Your setup is much too small.
     
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Put Blu-kote on her....Chickens peck at anything red and sore.....You might have to set up a crate to keep her in while she heals..

    Cheers!
     
  10. OrganicEgg

    OrganicEgg New Egg

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    Apr 2, 2014
    Thank you!!
     

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