New pullets: bald spots on mid back, bare wing feathers


9 Years
Mar 6, 2010
Hello all,

First off, thanks for all the great information on this forum. I've been reading non-stop the last few days. I just picked up my first ever baby chicks a few days ago. 3 RiR and 11 Golden Sex-link from a local farm supply store. I didn't know anything about raising chicks when I got them, but I'm learning fast! I feel good about everything so far, they're in a nice brooder with a nice warm red lamp and pine shavings with plenty of food and water. The only concern I have is that two of them (the two black colored Golden Sex-links) appear to be missing a lot of feathers on their wings... it just looks like bare "wing bones". And one of those two has rather large bare spots on her middle back, between the wings. Her skin is really dry looking there. I've watched the flock for periods of time and it doesn't look like any "pecking" is going on. My major concern is if this is some kind of disease that could spread to the others. I hope it just has to do with stress of being a baby chick. They are both active and eating/drinking. Behavior seems fine. I haven't tried putting vaseline on the bare one yet, I'll try that when I get home.

All in all, most of the 14 chicks look healthy. I've had 2 or 3 that had some major "pasty butt" but I've been keeping an eye on it and clearing it off. Currently they are all in a large plastic "Rubbermaid" container but I know I'll need to move them into something larger soon. At this point, they don't seem overcrowded.

I hope that's enough info.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Edit: I forgot to mention, the two birds I'm talking about (the black ones) came from the store looking like this. I didn't really get a good chance to inspect them like I should have, the store associate just quickly grabbed the requested number and boxed them up. (yes I'm a newbie!)
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Two things come to mind. First, your black "golden" sex links are not golden sex links at all, but either black sex links or another breed entirely. Second, you may have two little roos on your hands. Did you buy them sexed or straight run (unsexed)?
They were sexed, according to the store. They had a sign up reading "Golden sex-link, pullets" but I think they just meant sex-link of any color/variety. How would I tell if they really were roos?
How old are these chicks?

I received some 4 week old chicks from a breeder and they had bare spots in the same spot. I just figured it was from overcrowding at the breeder. They are now 6 weeks old and the feathers are filling in nicely. I have looked them all over and there's no bugs, so it's not that.
Okay, black sex link chicks then or still, maybe another breed that got mixed in the wrong bin. I've been at the feed store observing chicks before when a customer picked up a chick to admire it and then sat it down in another bin.

If they are NOT black sex link chicks, I would still suspect that they are cockerels, based on the slower feathering.

ETA: New2, are you sure your two chicks aren't cockerels? They can tend to feather slower.
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1 is iffy, but the other 3 I'm confident are pullets. They are true ameraucana's so not easy to sex.

ETA: I split an order with The Warden and hers were the same. They are completely covered in feathers now and are getting their beards.
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