Thank you everyone for your help! I've got 2 saddles coming from Marilyn. I will definately watch youtube to make sure I put them on correctly. I'm a tad intimidated handling her wings. lol Thanks for all the feedback.
Hi all. So we’ve had a saddle on Penny for a couple of months now but sad to say this has not helped. Helen continues to pick at her and no new feathers are growing in. Plus she frequently shakes herself which results in the saddle either crumpling up or standing up at the end. I’m very disappointed it isn’t working. It’s cold here at night (down in the 20’s) and I worry about poor penny’s skin being in this cold. Most of the time it’s covered but they stay out in their run all night on their perch. They hate the coop and only are in there to lay. I have put thick plastic around the outside and attached with zip ties to keep the wind out. So it’s a tad warmer in the run. Will her skin do ok? Is there anything that can be done to stop Helen from being a bully? (Pecking order I know but....) ???
Sad to say that when my baby chicks moved into the coop, Wanda (mine with the missing feathers) started bullying them and is now growing in her feathers!! I'm happy for Wanda but it sucks that she bullies the babies and that's what fixed her problem. Pecking order is harder on us than it is them, I am sure, but it's hard to watch.
Unfortunately, it won't let me post pics on here (not sure why) it says the uploaded file was not an image (?). But one of my hens is the same. We felt she was being mounted too much but the other hens are not/have not lost feathers like this. She is bare on her back and underside. now I see on her neck. I do not see mites and like I said the other hens are fine and the rooster. We have bought her a saddle pad, but I dont see that its helping and I am worried. I know we need more hens (I have read 8 hens to one rooster is good to have). But I am not so sure if this is a rooster issue..... If anyone wants to message me their contact info on Facebook I can send a pic.....weird it won't let me share any on here.
From the photos back in October, it appears her oil gland is inflamed. Check this area again, and if still red you might have to massage the plug from her oil gland. Also, just in case there are ectoparasites, give her a warm bath using cat flea shampoo, rinse well and blow dry with dryer on low setting. I have also found that baby onesies(preemie size) seem to work better at protecting a chickens bum as the typical hen saddle will flip up and expose the damaged area. You may have to make some modifications to the onesie but I've used them on chickens who have trauma from animal attacks and they work well.
Do you have any local chicken friends? Maybe trade either all bantams or all large fowl. Some breeds usually don't get along so its better to avoid mixing them.
Large fowl & bantams.
Large fowl & crested.
Then some breeds are typically more aggressive while others are more passive. Always exceptions to the rule though. I have a tiny hen that is half the size of my Wyandotte roo and He's afraid of her. He'll call the hens that he found food and if she comes over he almost always walks away cautiously and keeps an eye on her. His look says "oh crap not her."
Hi all. UPDATE: So I finally caved in and am ignoring my fears about free ranging and have been letting my girls out in the yard all day. They are over the moon of course and are having the time of their life wandering and scratching all over our yard, gardens and the woody areas. They still stay out in the run at night so the coop is not somewhere they want to be except to lay. BUT Pennys back feathers are growing back! It seems Helen was just bored and picking at Penny for fun. So I removed her saddle (which really wasn’t covering that area very well anyway) and I just let them be free birds all day. Our yard is completely fenced and safe from dogs/cats. Hawks are a worry and we have eagles nesting not far from us. But what will be will be. Our 2 labradoodles are very good with them and are frequently let out with our supervision so other predators rarely come to the yard during the day. Thank you all for all the advice and ideas. To @djcram above I would say try free ranging and if that’s not possible then enclose a big area with turkey wire and dump a big lot of leaves or grass clippings for them to forage in. (That’s where mine stay on snowy/big rainy days.) It worked for us.