Do you think they're irritated from mites, or are they being bullied?

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  • Total voters
    1

ariella29

Chirping
6 Years
Jul 14, 2013
13
7
69
For the last two weeks, I've noticed that our most submissive hen, Clementine, was starting to look fluffy like she was losing her feathers on the end of her back, just in front of her tail. We got a chance to look underneath the fluff, and discovered some sore spots (see pics) and definitely a lack of plumage there. One other hen dominates her and I've seen her peck Clementine in that exact spot. Clementine looks very healthy everywhere else, as does the rest of the flock (6 hens, all hatched in May 2017). They are also laying more eggs than ever, collectively, so I don't think any of them are moulting.

However, I'm just starting to see our most dominant hen, Cricket, with a cluster of broken feathers in that same spot as Clementine (no wounds at all for Cricket).

QUESTION:
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Or is there something else I should be considering?? What would you do if you were me? Thank you for your help!!
 

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sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,305
701
Central PA
I'd like a picture of the bum, but the pecking pattern says it's bullying. Bum means mites or lice, usually, as they seem to prefer the damper areas.

I'd see if your space is large enough (4 sq. feet per hen coop, 10 per hen run) and adjust the protein in my feed upwards a couple percentage points. Also, there's a thing called anti-peck ointment? I don't know how effective it is, but it's worth a try.
 

micstrachan

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Apr 10, 2016
11,558
61,991
1,197
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Looks like pecking to me. Can you observe them to see who is doing it? A few changes smoggy remedy the problem. More space, less boredom, and more protein can all help. You can also protect their backs with aprons while the feathers grow back and/or separate the one doing the pecking.
 

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