pecking herself!

newbie in 2017

In the Brooder
Mar 11, 2018
My 11 month old Silver-laced Wyandotte has been pecking herself. She was hiding the spot under her wing and then she started on her back. None of the other birds (3 Isa Brown hens and 1 Silver-laced Wyandotte Rooster) show any signs of pecking because of mites or lice. I use the deep litter method in the coop. I clean the poop from under the perch everyday. They feed at will. I am at a loss as to how to stop her. She is eating and drinking and laying as often as the others. I do give them scratch and meal worms daily. They don't seem to eat much of the corn. The the wild rabits and ground squirrels eat it in the evening and in morning before the chickens get up.

She now has three wounds one under her wing (approx 1 1/2" in diameter) and all around the vent. You cant see any of the wounds without picking her up and moving feathers. We have painted her with Dr. Naylor's blue stuff. Its not working. She continues to pick at herself.

Again none of the other birds are showing any signs of this.

We live in Norhtern Michigan and we have had about 5 or 6 weeks where the hens were either locked up in coop because of storms or they refused to come out because the snow was too deep.

Again, all the hens are laying and none of the others show any of the signs.

It could be boredom. Try hanging a head cabbage in their coop or put some treats in a plastic water bottle with some holes in it so the scratch can fall out as they peck at it or toss it around or one of those Flock Blocks.

What are you feeding? It could be she needs more protein, hence the feather pecking, is she eating the feathers? I would stop the corn, your attacking unwanted guest that can bring disease into your flock. Corn = candy to chickens & not necessary, it's a "hot" food with hardly any nutritional value. Scratch is a good treat, treats should not be more than 10% of their feed. I learned the hard way too much treats "neutralizes" the nutritional content in their feed.

Double check for mites/lice, you may just want to dust them all with Poultry Dust, catch the vent area & under the wings. I have BOs so I dust (prevention) all the fluffy feathers on their backside.

Are you sure no one's pecking at her? Blu - Kote is usually recommended to cover up bald spots & raw areas. Neosporin without the pain killer can be used to prevent infection.
I am reasonably certa in sjhe has done most of the damage herself.i have never seen any of the other but I have seen her on several occassions pick skin.
It sounds like your hen has de-pluming mites. These are a microscopic mite that infects the feather follicles and causes a condition much like the mange in dogs or other K9s De-pluming mites cause chickens to pluck out their own feathers to get relief from the aggravation caused by these mites.

Depluming mites are very simular to eyelash mites in humans.

Click the link below to read about symptoms.
Today it was even worse. She was lethargic. Couldn't see her doing that to herself or stopping either. We had to kill her. First death. Very hard but necessary. The rest of my small flock was checked and they show no signs of doing the same thing.

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