Naked bottoms

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Honor, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Honor

    Honor New Egg

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    Apr 16, 2009
    My flock of 10 hens all have naked, nearly naked or soon-to-be naked bottoms - meaning there are no feathers from just below their vents down to their sternums. (There are feathers all the way around the vents.) This happened two years ago and the baldness eventually spread to most of their bodies. While all of this was going on, they continued to lay eggs at a normal rate. I sent feathers and droppings off to my local extension service and they reported there were no parasites detected. After nearly six months, they started to regrow feathers until they all looked beautiful again but, guess what? No more eggs! I finally gave up and reluctantly sent them to chicken heaven. After cleaning the hen house thoroughly and letting it sit empty for several months, I restocked with a new batch of chicks last spring. They are laying eggs just fine but the naked bottoms are making me despair. I have carefully inspected the bald spots and cannot find any sign of mites or lice. I feed the flock layer pellets and use pine shavings for bedding. The first five/six years I raised chickens, this never happened. I would really appreciate some advice. Thanks. Worried in Alna Maine.
     
  2. buchette

    buchette New Egg

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    Sep 10, 2010
    2 of my hens have the same issue. I have read on the boards that this has been happening more and more. I would sure like to know what it is.
     
  3. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    Are they perhaps picking and eating the soft downy feathers from each others bottoms?
     
  4. Honor

    Honor New Egg

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    Apr 16, 2009
    I'm not sure whether or not they are eating those feathers. If they are, what do you suppose is missing in their diet? Or, could it be they are too crowded? I have more than the recommended space on the roost. Thanks for thinking about this for me. Honor
     
  5. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    do you have a rooster? I had that problem when I had too many roosters.
     
  6. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Quote:If they are picking and eating them they possibly could need more protein. They could be bored? It seems strange that it is so wide spread, however... [​IMG]
     
  7. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    If it is boredom try adding a few toys. (I added a funny mirror and parrot toy from the petstore). Also the wild bird seed cakes offer distraction.
    If it is protein related try offering some scrambled eggs, tuna as treats. Are tou feeding them chick start, growers, or layers formula on the feed? The commercial feeds are formulated to provide what they need at the different growth stages.

    It is odd that this is the 2nd group in a row with the issue. Maybe someone else can offer more info for you.
     
  8. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    Oh, what kind of bedding are they on?
    Just thought of it as cedar oil causes bad reaction on chickens. If the coop is made from fresh cedar it could have oils in it that have not cured out yet. Just a thought.
     
  9. Honor

    Honor New Egg

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    Apr 16, 2009
    The girls' bedding is pine shavings, the feed is Blue Seal Layer Pellets and I learned my lesson long ago about having a rooster with a small flock of hens so all my hens are hens. I suppose boredom could be a possibility but I get them out of the hen house at every opportunity - including shoveling the snow out of their pen because they won't walk on the snow. Their bottoms don't look like they've been pecked at - no bloody scabs or the like - so if they are plucking each other at least they are being gentle about it. The Bard Rocks are the worse, the Rhode Island Reds are next and the Comets are the best - for now. I can't imagine that there is some species specific thing going on. Any other ideas? I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks. Honor
     
  10. posey

    posey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do any of them have a pendulous abdomen? Swollen and round like a small water balloon between their legs?
     

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