Jun 14, 2017
This is still the first year with my girls, so I'm still learning. My 2 JBG have these bald spots. I do not see any signs at all of mites, and everyone else seems to be fine. I was thinking the one that is balding on her head (it looks redder in the picture than it does in person. it's not raw or anything) might be a pecking order thing (we have a couple mean red stars), but then the neck on the other one went bald. This would be our first molt, so I just wanted to double check that is indeed what it is.
so what we are saying is that I have mean birds? lol I was just reading about feather picking, and it says boredom, small space, protein deficiency, or bullies. They have 120sqft of outdoor space, and 48sqft of indoor space for 9 chickens, so I know it's not a lack of space. We let them out in the yard on nice days for a couple hours (not that there have been that many lately) to forage for bugs, and I feed them a complete organic feed that is 17% protein. The site I was just reading says oregano has a calming affect on chickens and can help. They provided a link to some supplements, but can I just put a couple fresh leaves in their water or straight in their run? I'd rather do things as close to natural as possible.
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You mentioned sex links which I have found to be prone to bad behaviors in general. For me they were a moody mix that I no longer keep. I refer more sedate breeds to minimize the chance of aggression.
so what we are saying is that I have mean birds? lol I was just reading about feather picking, and it says boredom, small space, protein deficiency, or bullies.....

Chickens do NOT bully other members of their flock. We humans look at the normal interactions of chickens as bullying but it is not bullying but rather the normal and perfectly natural way that all chickens, but especially hens organize chicken society. Remember this about chicken husbandry, a flock of hens in no way resembles a fairy tail where everyone lives happily ever after. If you are unable to accept that then perhaps you should buy a terrarium instead of a chicken coop.

It would help greatly if we knew what feed you are feeding with a copy of the "guaranteed analysis tag" and a list of ingredients.

Boutique chicken food is not intended to help or improve the health of your flock but rather these fad foods are only intended to defraud the new chicken keepers coming into poultry husbandry. By the time that these new chicken keepers get fed up with the ill health of their birds and go on to another hobby the slick sellers of Natural, No Corn, GMO Free, Vegetarian, Soy Free, Organic, chicken feed will have gone on to a a new product like a bogus holistic cure for cancer or hawking proof that UFOs and chem-trails are real. While I am on the subject ask Apple founder Steve Jobs how his holistic cancer cure is progressing. Remember that all that glitters is not gold.
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Looks like picking. I would guess they are bored. Maybe give them some treats like mealworms? My baby chicks are doing it right now. My grown hens do it occasionally, but not to the point of leaving bald spots. I may be overprotective, but I always put blue ointment on my birds when they are getting pecked. If it turns out to just be a partial molt, they will recover soon and be nice and fluffy again.
I'm not sure if you were meaning to sound condescending or not, but you kinda did. I may be new to this, but I'm not completely naive. And not that I should need to explain myself to you, but I will anyway. I thought I had done some pretty detailed research, but I am still finding new information daily - as is the case with ANY new venture in life. I come here for information because I know most of the people here have had more experience. I always try to look through previous posts to find my answer before I ask. I'm not doing this because it's a fad. I have wanted chickens for a LONG time. Ironically, the simple fact that it is a fad almost made me NOT want to do it. Also, I did not say they were bullying. That was from a site I found about picking. As for food, I get Green Mountain Organic. I did research about the feeds the local stores carried - before I ever got chicken - to find out which was best. Green Mountain is what I landed on. Everyone else carries Purina (or similar crap), and I refuse to buy anything from that company. My chickens have been fine health-wise. The only time I had questions about their health, it turned out to be stupid little (and harmless) mistakes on my part. They grew fine, have fluffy butts, and are otherwise happy. They have almost 5 times the amount of space "required" for "happy chickens," and we are about to add another 80sq ft for an additional 4 birds. I would free range them if there was not a chance for them to escape the yard into my busy town, or get picked up by hawks. All of that being said, I appreciate your insight, and I accept the fact that you may have had a bad day when you wrote what you did, but I do not live in a fairytale in any aspect of life. And I am sure that many people would appreciate if you did not speak to them like that.
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Might be worth setting up more eating and drinking stations. My lot are fine until food comes into the run then it’s each hen for herself and the squabbling and pecking starts. For four hens I have two lots of food and water, neither of them next to each other, to keep them separate. When I give treats it’s done so that everything’s well spread out. It’s a pain but reduces arguments!

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