Missing Feathers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Fireraven0613, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Fireraven0613

    Fireraven0613 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2011
    I "chicken sat" for a friend of our who went away over the long weekend and I noticed that a number of her hens were missing several feathers. One had a huge bald spot on her back, other had them missing around they're legs. I just found it odd and wondered if it was because she had so many in a small coop during the night? I mean there is enough room for all of them to roost to just fine and they are out all day with acres to roam. I have about half as many hens as she does and I don't have this problem. Is it because the hens are trying to assert dominance?
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Could be lots of things. If she has a rooster, missing feathers on the back can be caused by the rooster mating. They could be starting their molt. Parasites (lice/mites) are another possibility. Feather picking is generally caused by not enough space.
     
  3. cluckfamilymama

    cluckfamilymama New Egg

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    Sep 6, 2011
    Quote:Hi,
    I'm the mama to the cluck family ,Uckers, Clara and Clarice. i am very new at raising chickens. I never knew they were such fun , but i have a question:


    My rooster has a favorite hen... she has lots of feathers gone from her head. I have noticed when they mate, he pulls the feathers out.Is this a normal thing? And is there anything i can do to make it better for Clara?

    Thanks:D
     
  4. UrbanChickeroo

    UrbanChickeroo Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2010
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    Cluck Family Mama- I had a rooster for awhile and he a) had a favorite, and b) was not gentle with the ladies. The favorite was nearly bare on her back between her wings and the others, too, began to show thinning feathers on their back.

    Part of the problem was due to him being a larger breed than them, and part of the problem was that he was a particularly rough (only in that department, though, otherwise a docile fellow) rooster. We eventually decided he would be better off with a larger flock and so we re-homed him, but all of that to say that I don't think your boy is necessarily abnormal and that feather loss is also not abnormal.

    [​IMG] Good luck
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Quote:Hi,
    I'm the mama to the cluck family ,Uckers, Clara and Clarice. i am very new at raising chickens. I never knew they were such fun , but i have a question:


    My rooster has a favorite hen... she has lots of feathers gone from her head. I have noticed when they mate, he pulls the feathers out.Is this a normal thing? And is there anything i can do to make it better for Clara?

    Thanks:D

    Yes, it's normal, especially for the favorite hen. The rooster has to hold on to their head feathers to maintain his balance while mating. My rooster's favorite also has a bare spot by one of her wings. You can help this by trimming spurs/toe nails on the rooster and/or buying a saddle for the hen. (a fabric covering to help protect her back from feather damage) You can also lessen the damage by adding more hens - although there will still be a favorite. (1 rooster can service 10 hens) But if space is an issue, this may not be possible.
     
  6. cluckfamilymama

    cluckfamilymama New Egg

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    Sep 6, 2011
    Thank you so much! I was getting kind of worried. How does one trim a roosters nails?

    thanks
     
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:Same way you do a dog. Just clip them to dull them, but don't cut too far back into the quick.
     
  8. cluckfamilymama

    cluckfamilymama New Egg

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    Sep 6, 2011
    hmmm. thanks. i never knew that!
     

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