Naked Hens!! HELP!!


10 Years
Nov 10, 2009
Pinnacle, NC
I am tired of having Naked chickens!! I spray with bluin and keep watch but I was wanting to know if there was any other solution than buzzing beaks. I have buzzed twice and dont mind doing it its just something that I have to keep up at least once every 2 months. is there anything that I can do to prevent this awful pecking order?
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Sometimes pecking is a sign that they are too crowded. Do yours have enough room?

Sometimes they are bored. This ties in with enough room, but can you give them something to do? Give them perches to play on (and get away from the bullies) or stuff to hide behind. Maybe hang a cabbage for them to play with.

Sometimes you just have a chicken that likes to peck the feathers. Isolating or totally and permanently removing that chicken can make a world of difference.

Sometimes they pick and eat feathers because they are not getting enough protein. Some people have success by increasing the protein they eat.

I don't know what is causing yours to peck. Maybe these ideas will help. I'd also check them for mites and lice. And, if you have a rooster, is the situation barebacked hens instead of pecking? Just a couple of ideas.

Good luck!!
I do have a rooster! they are bald from breeding but there are a few hens who have all of their feathers. they eat laying mash so should i throw some cracked corn in their diet? perches are a good idea but my run is short. my coop is a 8 by 12 with a 8 by 20 run and i only have 17 chickens in there. I have 2 more roosters in there but they stay to themselves. I am trying to sell them cause i just don't need 3 roos. I will try the perch thing and maybe somethings to hide behind and see if that helps. any more ideas?
I have a pecking problem also with my 2 RiR's and my Plymouth Rock.(she's the one that they chase around and she's afraid of them). I have them seperated right now. They can see each other thru the run. They get along as long as they are free ranging. They aren't crowded. I eventually want them all to be together. She is lonely. Any advice:confused:
Sounds like you have multiple issues to address. Three roos are too many, at least for your contained environment. If they're bald from breeding - that needs to be addressed. Give chicken saddles a try to, to help protect the backs of your hens. Your space is probably a bit tight for them (is the 17 WITH the three roosters or total?). Some flocks just need more space than other, more harmonious flocks. You can also try Adams Flea and Tick spray for the lice (be sure to cover their faces for protection - just rub on by hand in that area). Whatever you use for the lice needs to be retreated in 10 days to get any possible hatching nits. I'd also boost protein levels, so no scratch, as it's much lower in protein than layer feed. Spinach, BOSS, fish are good sources.
the roosters are forsale and yes thats including them... i worry that they wont like those saddle things and they will just pick them off... is that flea and tick powder for dogs do i get it at walmart or tractor supply??? also spinach really??? anything else?? whole corn or something spinach is high in cost.
I agree, it sounds as though you have multiple issues. I would firstly add BOSS, black oil sunflower seed, then I would add two TBLSP of white vinegar to water. I am not sure if it was just a coincidence, but someone told me to add white vinegar to water to calm chickens down and help with feather picking and it did seem to work for mine, but it may be coincidence too. Hope you get rid of some roos soon, that will help. BOSS is kind of expensive but it will last for awhile. TSC has poultry dust for lice for only 5.99, it worked well for us. Retreat the coop and chickens in 10 days. You can still eat the eggs too. Treat the whole coop, add fresh mulch and dust everywhere (roosts, nest boxes) and get dust on first two feet of wall from the floor. Good luck. Hope this helps.

Others have used Adams Flea and Tick spray for lice and swear by it.

17 chickens in 96 square feet is 5.7 square feet each in the coop. An 8 x 20 run is 160 square feet which gives just under 10 square feet per chicken. There is nothing really magic about the regular 4 and 10 square feet numbers, but they are a decent place to start. I think you have sufficient room for the number of chickens. I would not crowd it much more though. You are probably getting close to your limit.

I once had three adolescent roosters with 15 hens and pullets and never had a problem with bareback. They did free range though, which could make a difference. And different chickens have different personalities. Getting rid of the two roosters will be a positive step, in my opinion, but I don't think it will solve your problem.

Mites and lice could be a big part of your problem. They may be picking themselves because of the parasites. There are different ways to treat the lice and mites. One way is to take the Sevin or whatever powder you use, if you use powder, put it in a garbage bag, put the chicken in the garbage bag up to the neck, and shake and turn the bag to get powder all over the chicken, turning more than shaking since you don't want to break its neck. I'd lock them in the coop to catch them and treat them in the run where you have better ventilation. Some people take them off the roosts at night where they are easier to catch.

I've used the aprons and they soon get used to them. The only problem I've had is that some of the snaps don't hold real well. Two worked great but the third just would not stay snapped. But don't worry about the chickens not liking them or picking them off. That is not a problem.

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