Molting or Broody egg laying RSL hen who injures self(pic)?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mattemma, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I have a 18mo red sex link hen. She started losing feathers a few weeks ago.I thought it was molting. Then she started pulling out her feathers to the point of injuring herself,so I moved her indoors to a cage to care for her wounds. She has been in for about 4-5 days,and has just laid her second egg.

    I thought molting hens do not lay,so is she a bored broody hen that pecks at herself? Years ago I took in a neglected parakeet that pecked herself bloody.Is this one destined to always do the same?

    Some pics of the plucked areas which are back,neck,and wings.All were raw and bloody a few days ago.She seems to be behaving herself in the home.




    I am keeping her inside till her backside heals otherwise the others might peck her open.Just curious what could be going on with her.
    She pecks at her eggs,so I remove them right away.
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Never seen anything like that. Wondering if some pine tar on the wounds would stop that destructive behavior. It would help heal the wounds too.
    ETA: I assume you've checked her over well for any sign of mites?
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  3. bonder

    bonder Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 2, 2010
    I'm curious, too. I'll be watching for an answer.
  4. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Are you sure she is doing this to herself? Could it be the others doing this?

    What is her diet? I'm wondering if she has enough protein in her diet.

    Molting usually causes a cessation of egg laying, but not always at the beginning. Sex-links may continue to lay well into their molt. However, this does not appear to be molting.

    Broody? .... If she were broody, she would be sitting and not getting up and around, so I doubt that is the case.
  5. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    Checked for bugs and there is nothing. I thought the other RSL hens were doing it,but then saw her reaching each of the bald areas.

    I have been giving her some cooked eggs,oats ,and BOSS with layer pellets/oyster shell.

    I cleaned the wound.Switch antibio cream with herbal salve.She has not broken the skin since early last week. I guess I will just keep her in till she heals,and try to slip her back in with the others.

    I remove the eggs right away,because she will peck them till they crack.
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I can't see these pictures too well, but the bare area on the back looks kind of like she might be some rooster's favorite. Is there a rooster in the picture?
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I have seen self mutilation feather picking in bored parrots but never in chickens. Just in case it is low protein related try adding some dry cat food to her diet. This is one thing I really have no clue about.[​IMG]

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