naked butt chicken...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bagendhens, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2009
    Outside the Boundries
    so in november a couple of our girls started dropping feathers...
    figured it was a moult and by the end of december 2 of the 3 girls that were looking scruffy looked perfectly normal again...

    but one of our girls isnt faring so well on the re-growth.
    Sam is a black australorp and she is literally naked from what would be the waist to the base of her tail.

    at first i thought its a heavy moult...i checked her over in december (and regularly since then) and she does have pin feathers in some areas.
    i checked her for mites, both visually and under the microscope...and theres no signs of mites...
    we do have a dust bowl filled with DE and we sprinkle DE into the shavings, they all take dust baths regularly in the DE.

    ive been checking her over regularly (a couple of times a week,) shes eating and laying well (espeiclaly given theres literally FEET of snow on the ground right now...)

    im thinking mabe shes getting plucked, there are occasional black feathers in the coop, but i havent seen any direct bullying, i sit and watch them regularly and noone picking on her during the day...

    looking at her skin, normal color (a little red in the cold) but very tough, almost leathery, she does have down in some areas and pin feathers in others but nothing seems to grow in beyond that. her head, wings and tail and chest are all nicely and healthy feathered.
    we do NOT have a rooster so unless one of the girls is riding her its not that...

    and more so not one of the other 10 hens are showing any other signs of this, all are healthy, heavily feathered, fluffy girls.

    its just our black australorp...as a side note, when they roost shes ALWAYS on the end of the line up, shes not isolated shes snuggled up with the other girls, its just shes on the end of the line every night.

    any ideas?
    also anything i can do to help her. its VERY cold, shes not showing any signs of frost bite, but she does get red and it is very cold...might it be worth making a hen saddle out of fleece to give her a little more protection.
    ive been using a little bag balm on the realy leathery spots.
    we tried bringing her inside and she was NOT happy about it, she realy stressed out not being with the flock.

    as i said, no mites that i can see, none of the other girls are having this issue, and shes eating and laying and active.
    its driving me crazy trying to figure this out.
     
  2. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    bet someone is plucking her feathers, I have the same problem and have seen the plucker in action, bag balm will help protect her skin from the cold, a hen apron may help prevent them from getting to the feathers. So far separation is the only thing to work for me
     
  3. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Outside the Boundries
    thanks [​IMG] gonna try to continut with the bag balm and make her an apron and see if that helps...

    weve all got some cabin fever and ill bet the hens are no different, this winter has been tough, weve had a snow storm every week since christmas and the girls havent been able to free range like they got used to since they were old enough to go outside...
     
  4. obaan1

    obaan1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2010
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    I have your hen's twin living in my flock. All symptoms and behaviors are exactly the same and I have been trying to figure this out as long as you have. I hope that we can resolve the
    issue(s) so that they can get back to being their happy, beautiful, black Australorp selves. I'm in Michigan waiting for the next big storm to arrive tonight. A few of the girls in my flock
    are starting to look a little rough and weather beaten but this particular one appears to be hit the hardest.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
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    Yeah, being at the end of the roost is the giveaway, she is at the bottom of the pecking order and is being plucked. Long term solutions of more space and more protein should help. If they won't go out because of snow, I'd shovel a few paths and throw them out, give them a few pallets or something so they can get their feet off the snow now and then. This is one reason I free range. I'd rather see them taken by a predator than live feeling crowded and stressed. Fortunately, the dogs pretty well prevent predator losses.
     
  6. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2009
    Outside the Boundries
    well in terms of space the coop itself is larger than the reccomended, we have about 10sqft per bird, and the run is also larger than the minimum recs they have about 15sqft per bird, and the run is mostly free of snow and they have access to the run even when the weather bad (its tarped up to keep the snow out)
    so i dont think being cramped is a real issue...
    there also on purina layer pellets,
    in the mornings they get oatmeal and in the evenings they get a warm high protein layer mash.

    i mean i wouldnt be suprised if it is plucking figuring out whos doing it would be an issue as they dont seem to do it when there being watched...
    other than more space and more protein (we are planning on increasing the run again in the spring, is there anything we can do to prevent plucking other than removing her completly from the flock? would an apron be a good idea, would it help?

    i mean letting them out to freerange right now is impossible, weve got 3 1/2 ft of snow on the ground, 5 1/2 ft snow drifts, weve got paths shoveld for the dogs but the girls are simply not interested in leaving the run lol. (not that i blame them)

    is rehoming her the best chance at keeping her safe given noone else is getting plucked and were not able thus far to identify the bully (of course they could all be plucking her) and if shes removed from the flock, obviously someone else will move to the bottom of the totem pole and end up with a nekkid butt...


    oh and i wanted to add, she has no red/sore spots or scabs, though he skin does look dry, its not sore/cracked and doesnt look like shes being pecked at, which i guess is a good thing at least.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011

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