Please Help, Hens are bare on backs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lehi Cougar, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. Lehi Cougar

    Lehi Cougar Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2015
    I noticed this started a couple of weeks ago, but it has gotten worse and looks sore. Tried looking for mites or lice, not sure exactly what to look for. The feathers have deinetly been pecked out, just not sure by who. They have been in the run for about a year and this is the first time it has happened. The run is 6x12 for 5 birds so I don't think they are over crowded and we let them free range when we can. Any suggestions[​IMG]
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  2. sarahandjay

    sarahandjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would try dusting them for mites/lice to be on the safe side and then use an apron until the feathers grow back.
     
  3. Del1977

    Del1977 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting as I had this happen to one out of 9 hens. She had a similar bald spot for ages, with not signs of mites etc, and it didn't spread to the other hens. Interested in seeing what the replies are as we didn't ever solve the problem as the hen ended up being euthanized for a severely prolapsed oviduct.
     
  4. potocki99

    potocki99 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2011
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    Do you have roosters?
     
  5. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2

    We have a hen who is bald like this on her back. She's our rooster's *ahem* "favorite."

    MrsB
     
  6. Del1977

    Del1977 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We don't have any roosters so this certainly wasn't the cause for our balding hen.
     
  7. Lehi Cougar

    Lehi Cougar Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2015
    No, no roosters
     
  8. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check at the base of the feathers around the vent for clusters of nits... It'll look like tiny clumps of white foam. Those are eggs. You might also see little pieces of cayenne pepper run away into the surrounding feathers... Red mites are nasty beasties.

    If you see any of that, grab some Sevin dust from your local garden/home improvement store and give your ladies a dust bath around the vent, under their wings, along their backs, and up their necks as best you can. Do this every seven days for three weeks.

    Absent of external parasites and roosters, I'd say you've got a bully chicken that's either mounting your hens as a show of dominance or pulling out their feathers.

    You can try covering up the area with iodine or Blue Kote to hide the tender, pink skin... Having angry tissue exposed like that is a target for the flock. You could also opt for a Hen Saddle to help the feathers regrow and give them a little protection from the elements.

    Other than that, intense observation is needed. Grab a chair, a book, and prepare to sit outside and wait until you see the behavior. If they are picking and EATING the feathers, you could have a protein deficiency in the flock.

    MrsB
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Lehi Cougar

    Lehi Cougar Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2015
    Mrs B. Thanks sop much for the suggestions. I will try to keep an eye out for what is happening. They do have oyster shells available so I wouldn't expect it to me a protein deficiency, but it is sad to see the pretty hens starting to look so ragged.
     
  10. Coker farms

    Coker farms Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2016
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    two things, one, it might be mites. two, it could be your rooster mounting the hens….
    his sharp claws/spurs can loosen and pull feathers off the hens backs...
    mypetchicken.com supplies "saddles" for cases like this...
     

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