Newb Question - Potential Pecking Issue???


8 Years
Jan 7, 2012
Hello to everyone.
I have been reading the fourms and the website since July of last year inspiring me to build a coop and a run and get four rhode island reds. They were only a two months or so old when I got them. They seemed fine and grew quite rapidly. Started laying around last october and was going well until we noticed one of them appeared to be losing feathers on her back above the tail. Didn't think too much of it until a week or so later when the area was worse and bloody. Pulled the injured bird and attempted to treat but she died about a week later. The injury didn't look that substantial but I figured that there was not too much I could do about it. Read the fourms and website and thought it was a pecking issue. Increased amount of food and water available to make sure that competition for food and water was stressing them out. Everything seemed fine until about a couple of days ago when I noticed two of the three remaining hens appear to have some issues with the feathers in the same area as the one that died. I am not sure if its pecking again or molting, Chickens are less than a year old so that doesn't seem to be the case, attached is a photgraph of one of the hens. Maybe soemone could look at it and let me know if its normal.

There are three hens, no rooster. The coop is 12 sqaure feet and has two roosts. There is plenty of food and water.
Run is connected to coop and is 64 square feet in area.
However, they seem overly attached to one another and always hudle together and all sleep tight to one another on the roost. Is that normal? I thought coop was large enough for six hens based on what I read so it should be plenty large enough for only three.

Also, the kids like holding and feeding the hens. Could that be stressful to the birds and causing them to fight with one another? I actually thought it would be better if the hens were used to being held but am not so sure. Didn't really see anything about that on website.

Chickens were only a way to teach the kids where their food comes from and their always excited to find another egg in the nesting box.
I don't want to loose two more hens and be down to only the one.
Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

Per website, issue with spam so I cannot post photos, What gives?
Anyone have pictures they can post of molting chickens? Sorry, doesn't look like I can post photos.
I don't think molting would be the issue b/c chickens molt starting with their head first, neck, breast, body, wings, and finally their tail. If it was a pecking issue, it could potentially be a lack of protein in their diet. Lacking protein will cause chickens to peck one another's feathers. Try increasing protein in their diet to see if the issue resolves.

I don't think your children handling the chickens would cause an issue.

As far as posting have to upload your photos to and then pull your pics from that website.

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