Perpetual feather loss/bald spot

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Shandon, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Shandon

    Shandon New Egg

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    Nov 11, 2009
    Norfolk UK
    Hello,
    I wonder if anybody can offer any advice on the following.
    We adopted four ex battery hens in East Anglia, UK in June this year. They seem to be doing fine generally, and all continue to lay consistently. One however has a bald spot at the base of her tail about two inches in diameter, the feathers here regular start to re grow but then seem to get removed somehow before they get established, and we have spotted a small amount of blood here on the odd occasion. She also has very sparse feathers on her lower abdomen (between her legs). The funny thing is, this chicken doesn't seem to get pecked or bullied by any of the others in fact she seems to be at the top of the pecking order and often intervenes to resolve fights between the others!
    We have tried red mite powder and Gentian Violet antiseptic spray, neither seems to have helped. This hen is our most consistent layer but looks a bit of a sorry state, and we'd love to see her feathers re grow. Is it possible that she is getting pecked at night by the others in the house (and perhaps even tolerates this), or that she is doing it to herself? Any advice would be very welcome.

    Thanks,


    S.
     
  2. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Southern Iowa
    Do you have roosters? If she's at the top of the peck order, she probably gets the most rooster action. Otherwise.... this could just be feather loss due to being a battery hen. She may have had her feathers so badly damaged that they will not grow back until molting time, which should be around now, or coming up soon. I got a bunch of "free range" layers from a confinement operation a while back, and some of them were practically bald, and they didn't grow new feathers for a LONG time.
     
  3. Shandon

    Shandon New Egg

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    7
    Nov 11, 2009
    Norfolk UK
    No rooster action for her I'm afraid, there's just the four hens here!
    If she just had no feathers in that area I would agree that it was probably down to her life as a battery hen as you suggest, but she keeps getting the beginnings of feathers there and then she loses them! Is that what happens?

    Many thanks for your reply.


    S
     

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