Missing Feathers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by [email protected], Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Barbara_Forsberg@msn.com

    [email protected] New Egg

    Jun 25, 2008
    Bay Area, California
    Hi - I am new to raising chickens. I have 6 chickens who seemed to be doing fine until about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I noticed that my little frizzle chicken (the smallest one) looked like she was loosing feathers and she was sitting on her eggs all day long. Now, I think she is being picked on because every one of the chickens wants to use the same box to lay their eggs. She has lost alot of her feathers and even on the underside. My questions are
    1) how do you handle chickens that aren't nice to her? 2) should I remover her? 3) Could it be something else? 4) is there a way to motivate them to use alternate boxes, I have 6 boxes, yet only one seems to be used.

    Any thoughts/advice is greatly appreciated.
  2. Justino

    Justino ♪♫ Rockin' Rooster ♪♫

    Dec 21, 2007
    where are the feathers missing??? it sounds like just a typical broody if she is sitting on her eggs....she wants to hatch em [​IMG] my silkies all do this even though they dont have any eggs under them [​IMG]
  3. Barbara_Forsberg@msn.com

    [email protected] New Egg

    Jun 25, 2008
    Bay Area, California
    She has missing feathers from her belly and backside and around her neck. She looks pretty rough. Any tips on getting the chickens to use more of the boxes? Thanks
  4. Dr.Doorlock

    Dr.Doorlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2008
    Garland, Texas
    I'm not sure if what I used would work in this case, but I put "pinless peepers" on all my pullets when they were pecking. This worked great until they changed their ways. Now they are off, all of them are full feathered and they are through with the pecking.

    You can also see how much fun it turned out to be......at my website:

  5. Barbs Organic Garden

    Barbs Organic Garden Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 21, 2008
    I have 35 birds, 3 cocks and 31 hens. They all were hatched 4/20/08 and are Buff Orpingtons, except one rescue hen (Silver Spangled Hamburg) and one exotic that was a freebie (male, Buff Laced Polish Crested). My concern is that several of my hens have had all the feather stripped from their backs--completely bare--from the cocks mounting them. I thought it would be nice to advertize my organic eggs as fertile, too, and try to raise some of my own chicks. But these hens are really not being treated well. Do I have too many roosters? The hens with undisturbed feather have really small combs and I'm still getting some small eggs. Are they still immature? Is there something I can do, other than getting rid of the cocks?
    Question for Dr. Doorlock: What is a "pinless peeper"?
  6. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Hi Barbara and Barb - [​IMG] !!

    Barbara - can you post a couple of pictures of your hens missing feathers and try to get the bare spots in them? When you say "backside", do you mean the vent area or the actual back? Do you have roosters? And is the one you most worried about that is sitting on eggs broody?

    Barb - you may want to consider chicken saddles to protect your girls backs. If you do a search on BYC for chicken saddles, you will find several patterns and instructions. I also have some instructions posted here http://backtobasicliving.com/blog/make-a-chicken-saddle/

    tend to pick favorites and, as a result, end up over mating certain pullets/hens. That's why some of your pullets have torn up backs, and some do not. Your roosters may know that some of the pullets aren't quite ready yet, too.

    I suggest chicken saddles. I have them on 8 of mine and am getting ready to put them on 5 more. They work great.

    Hope this helps,

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