PHOTO -- Chicken missing bum/vent feathers


In the Brooder
10 Years
May 3, 2009
Dayton, Or
HISTORY -- I had 4 Buffs until a month ago. Now there are 3. They are 13 months old. 1 hen is broody and I am letting her ride it out, the other 2 are fine - I thought. I am getting 1 - 2 eggs per day.

PROBLEM -- 1 of my 2 laying chickens has had a dirty looking bum and feathers. I did not think of it as sticky bum, as there was nothing stringy or hanging or apparently blocking per ability to poop or lay. The feathers were just grungy looking. As the issue continued I looked closer and saw that she has a rather good-sized area without feathers.

ACTION TAKEN -- I filled a tub with warm water and had my husband hold her submerged just enough so that I could really try to wash her bum. I am still not really certain where her vent is... I did not do any probing. While she did not seem to mind the bath, I was a little grossed out and hesitant to explore too much.

QUESTION -- Please tell me what is going on and if she is going to survive. She looks good (other than her bum). Her comb is red and standing. She is eating (and pooping as best I can tell) and I believe she is laying.

Please note that the photo was taken just minutes after her bath.




9 Years
May 15, 2010
Did you ever hear from anyone on this?? I'm no expert, but it looks like something dark is hanging out of her vent in both pictures. It's been a while, is she ok?


9 Years
Jul 9, 2010
Delaware, Arkansas
The only thing I can say is that I have had a hen for about two months that looks like that and I thought she was egg bound or something. My DH said I was over reacting and would not let me do anything. So I made sure she had everything in her feed she needed, watched her closely and nothing has ever happened. Finally my DH said she would grow feathers back...but still I don't know. She lays an egg almost every day still......and looks good otherwise.

I did wonder if her feathers got pecked off. Not with the group she is with now but from before. And I did spray her bum with some really good vetericyn spray.

I will watch this thread and see what you get. I have a really healthy looking, active, laying hen with no other issues after two months.


9 Years
Mar 22, 2010
good possibility it is due to feather plucking, I have a hen that always has a bare, red butt due to my little BO feather plucker! who, today is getting fitted with pinless peepers to stop this madness. I , like you thought it must be a disease, mites, lice, but could never fine any on any of the girls, so one day i hung out with the girls and low and behold, sneak attack from behind and pluck goes the butt feathers. Do you ever see new feathers trying to grow back and then in a few days they are gone again? if so, then you have a feather plucker in the house. Not an easy thing to stop. I have read here that it can be due to lack of protein in the diet, if you give them lots of treats so they don't eat as much of their feed which can result in a protein deficiency. also can be due to boredom in the winter months. I hope the pinless peepers work, they look like little torture masks, but I have run out of options, they are cheap, 10 for 7 dollars. hope this helps


Crazy "L" Farms
11 Years
Jun 11, 2010
I agree with tammye, I think you might have a feather plucker in your flock. If you can hang out with your chickens for a while and watch them, you will probably catch the culprit in the act. A couple of things you could try to stop it is one increase their protien in their food. You can do that by mixing in game bird food and offering additional oystershell for the additional calcium. You could put out a flock block or hang a head of cabbage to decrease their boredom or you could put bag balm on her bare area. It doesn't taste good and discourages feather picking. If all else fails you can get the pinless peepers as suggested. Hope this helps too! BTW the bare area doesn't look like there is some kind of infection going on.


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
The thread is nearly two years old and the OP has posted as recently as last month. Why are we resurrecting this?

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