My one hen has a red "butt"-help


In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 24, 2010
Ok I am new to this problem... one of my hens has a "red butt" where the other chickens have plucked out her tail feathers around her vent.
Looks a little bloody too... I have isolated her in another pen, she is eating & drinking well, and seems content when I pick her up, almost kinda comforted when I have her "protected" . She also has a a separate feed & water of which I have added some anti-biotic.
Right now she is free grazing outside of the other hens since they are in the fenced in yard area of the chicken coop. The chicken coop is 6 foot by 4 foot and is capable of handling 10-12 hens I am told, we have 5 total.
They were all raised at the same time in the same brood, 7 months old, up to now they have been all together in the hen house & yard.

so is this a new "pecking order" or what.
Add more protein to their diet? They get grains & chicken feed already, plus fresh grass/bugs from foraging.

any help would be good as to info.
Jim Brown
Lockport NY
So you have feather pickers and if your whole coop is 6x4, meaning the sleeping space where they are at night, figuring the 4sq feet per standard bird inside, you have a max inside capacity of 6 birds.

If that is the entire coop, where they sleep and where they run around in the day, if you figure 4 sq feet inside space, and 10 sq feet run space, your max capacity is about 2 hens.

The general rule for standards is:

4 sq feet of coop space each.

10 sq feet of run space each.

However this mileage can vary. Some can use half the space, and some find that they need DOUBLE for their hens to not pick on each other. It depends on the flock personality.

Who ever told you 10-12 hens, might be thinking 1lb banties or is part of a marketing ploy... going off of housing standards that are twice that of factory farm laying birds, who get about 1 sq foot each.
Hi there

One of my hens recently lost her feathers from her bum and chest and both patches were very red. They seem to be coming back slowly now. My other hens arent pecking pecking her. She has been pulling her own feathers out. I spoke to a friend who is a chicken breeder and was told some chickens actually dont like having feathers and will pull them out themselves. Now it is gettin a bit colder she seems to be letting them grow back. Are you actually sure the other hens are pecking her?

Hens tend to peck eachother out of bordem and lets be honest if you were in a run alday you would be bored lol! Try hanging lettuces or cabbages so they have to peck at it or instead of putting food in the run in a container just throw it in so they have to find it. They dont have big brains so doesnt take an awful lot to keep them entertained.

Also chickens are due to moult in September and then will start to grow their winter coat. She could be moulting a bit late.

As for the red skin, chickens have different coloured skin depending on breeds and that might be the case with both of our girls.

I hope this helps
I totally agree with silkiechicken about the space issue.

You can possibly alleviate this by free ranging the whole flock during the day and letting them use the coop just for sleeping and maybe eating. That will cut down on issues until you are able to provide more space.

Also, if the wounds aren't too bad, a good coat of a blue-kote type product on your picked chicken's bum will allow her to go back to the flock.
OK I'll byte .... what is blue kote?
I've been around farms my whole life (more or less) and I never seen nor heard of blue kote (other than in a shop to coat metal)
Jim Brown
Lockport NY

wound dressing for animals that also is often used to prevent others from pecking a specific area on a chicken. My feed store never heard of it either. If you have a TSC around, they carry it.

I tried it once to prevent feather pulling and they kept pulling her feathers anyway, but many on here swear by it. It stains everything; this is the gentian violet in it, an old fashioned remedy.
My "red butted hen" is doing OK by herself, not stressed and foraging OK, very docile and actually like to be held, seems to be a good people chicken!
Her rear-end is drying up and looking more dry-dark red, which I assume is OK. She seems pretty content and not stressed out like the other day.
The other hens in the chicken yard seem to be minding their own business, and not pecking each other nor a particular one (going up the pecking order)!
I'm gonna watch my "little red hen" and keep an eye on her red butt, hopefully everything heals well & feathers come back in.
...Anything else I should know?
Jim Brown
Lockport NY
Also I have used Rooster Booster Pick No More Lotion, which looks like molasses but tastes bad to them and it worked instantly. They only had to taste it once and no more picking the bottoms!!!

I bought it at the feed store.

Check the alcohol level of Blu-Kote or wound kote- I saw it at my feed store and it has a lot of alcohol in it- ouch!!! (Thank you Dawg for telling us this in another thread.)
It does have alcohol in it, but i have had to use it quite a few times, and i have never had one of my chickens respond like they were in pain. The resist for a second because i'm holding them at arms length with one hand, and then they immediately calm down.

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