Missing feathers, rooster or?

mrstillery09

Chirping
8 Years
Feb 9, 2012
79
3
94
Kansas City, Missouri
Ok, so I have a lovely little flock of chickens. 8 hens, 1 rooster. They are about a year and 2 months old. A few months ago I noticed a few of our hens had some bare backs, and one had feathers missing on her head. I asked about it on a different forum, and was advised it was due to a young, over zealous, inexperienced rooster and that he may get better as he got older. Now it's a few months later and I'm wondering what to do. 4 of the chickens have bare backs still with red skin, no new feathers are growing. Is this normal?

The rooster seems like a real sweetie with the hens, but he can get mean with us humans. Anytime he tries to attack me I confront him, and hold him upside down, and he is good as gold for awhile. I'm hoping as he ages he'll get nicer and more gentle with both me and the chickens, but is that realistic?

I'm also thinking there may be a mite, or lice problem. The red skin on the ones that have bare backs, and today when I grabbed the rooster I noticed he had red skin on his chest. What is the best way to determine whether it's mites, or lice, and how and what should I treat for them?
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
580
448
South Georgia
Unfortunately, keeping a roo is likely to cause this kind of problem. You can keep his nails and spurs trimmed which should help some. You can put saddles on the girls. The redness might simply be sunburn, another good reason for saddles. You can see parasites but they are tiny. You can make your own saddles, or there are usually some for sale in our BST forum. Here are some links that I hope will help:

http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html

https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/patterns-chicken-saddles
 

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