Pecking

Kathy Golden

In the Brooder
Sep 5, 2017
4
5
14
I have noticed that several of my hens look like they have been pecked to the point that they are bare at the base of where there back meets their tail feathers. I have not been able to see if there is a specific culprit to this pecking behavior. Since I have never had chickens before is there anything I can and should do for the bare spots?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,155
33,693
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Going with the assumption that one or more chicken is a feather picker you can try something like Blu Kote which will dye the area to hopefully make it less attractive a target.

Other things to look at would be:
- How many chickens and how much space do you have them in (both coop and run)? Are there places for them to hide or things for them to do in the coop/run? Crowded and/or bored chickens can turn on each other.
- What are you feeding the chickens? Low protein % can cause them to seek protein sources such as feathers.
- Have you checked for mites and lice, to eliminate that as a cause?
 

chickenmeadow

Crowing
10 Years
Jun 14, 2009
1,057
349
276
Southern Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
My experience with the bald spot on hens like you described, is that it is always from my amorous rooster. When several of my hens came up with this last year, I watched them & saw the the rooster stood/grabbed right on the very spots.

The problems with that bald spot here is that the skin gets red & sometimes scratched (looks painful); then the other hens relentlessly start to pluck the quills as they come in & it gets more irritated. So.... I put the no pick solution on the spot to help it heal & deter the others from pecking. In addition, I also always put a "chicken apron" on the bald spot hen to protect from the next rooster visit & from the pecking hens; have found that it works best here when left on until the new feathers come out of the quills or else the other hens keep plucking quills & they never get better. So glad I finally found a solution to it all.

Check on BYC for the aprons for sale, I love supporting fellow chicken lovers here (or check out Amazon.com). Best wishes.
 
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chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,218
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
Here is a bit about mites from Merak's veterinarian manual. There are at least three types of mites that result in chicken nakedness discussed in this excellent book. Here is the link or for a quicker, better, fuller discussion of all types of poultry ailments beg, borrow, or buy a copy.
https://www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/ectoparasites/mites-of-poultry

There is also a free version on line as well as a version for places other than Canada or the USA.

Be advised that the depluming mite and feather mite is discussed by Merak's vet manual as well as how to treat for each of these mite species. I do have a sneaking suspicion that the manufactures of hen saddles would rather keep this knowledge under "wraps" as it were.
 
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