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missing back feathers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by l'abeille, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. l'abeille

    l'abeille Chillin' With My Peeps

    180
    1
    119
    Oct 16, 2009
    Berkeley, CA
    2 of my 6 hens are losing feathers in a small patch on their back, just before their tails. No, we don't have a rooster. What are the likely causes?

    Any ideas/suggestions would be gratefully appreciated!
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Several possibilities: lice or mites, molting, or feather picking. Have you checked them over thoroughly for lice/mites? Especially under the wings and around the butt/vent area??? Are you finding a lot of feathers around the coop (a sign of molting)? Do they have ample room (lack of space in confinement can result in feather picking)...
     
  3. l'abeille

    l'abeille Chillin' With My Peeps

    180
    1
    119
    Oct 16, 2009
    Berkeley, CA
    I have ruled out molting b/c they are onl 6 mo old and I on't see feathers everywhere. It is a very localized patch just on the back near the tail feathers.

    I am suspecting it is picking. I looked back in the archives but would love to hear any suggestions.

    Thanks
     
  4. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    you could use the diaper method? [​IMG]
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    If they're overly crowded, that can result in feather picking (boredom and stress). Protein deficiency can contribute (cut out treats/add protein foods). There's an item called pinless peepers that you can put on your girls (I equate them to horse blinders); have never used them, but some on BYC have. The clip into the nostril area. Or, as was suggested, you could try aprons or similar coverings to prevent that area from getting pecked.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010

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