Please tell me this is some sort of molting.....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by eggcamefirst, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. eggcamefirst

    eggcamefirst Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 14, 2010
    Piedmont Triad, NC
    First:I have 6 hens and one Rooster in a fenced run/coop. They are all at least 26 weeks old.

    My father-in-law said he noticed some of the birds pecking and eating some feathers off each other. I have yet to see this myself but several of my hens have bare spots on them, all of them where the tail feathers meet the lower back.


    I noticed that when the Rooster mates with them, that particular section of feather tends to get ruffled as show below.

    Is the Rooster doing this? Are the hens not getting enough vitamins (my FIL's theory)? Or are they molting?
  2. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    Doesn't look like a molt. Doesn't look like from mating. You have yourself a feather picker. You gotta figure out which one is the offender and consider getting some "pinless peepers".
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    That's rooster damage, not molting. You can get saddles for your hens to keep the bare spot from getting worse. You can also trim your roosters spurs and toenails.

    Molting looks like this:
  4. chixReverend

    chixReverend Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 7, 2011
    Marana, Arizona
    This could be plain old pecking whick is sometimes caused by one or more aggressive chickens in the coop. You can either cull out the offending birds or de beak them.
  5. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    Looks like feather picking. Often it starts with one main gal and a few others will catch on. I had to deal with this recently.
  6. Silverose

    Silverose Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 12, 2011
    Middle Tenn
    it's rooster damage, my hens have it too. I tried saddles but my rooster attacks them. (even if i throw the saddle on the ground he attacks it)

    any idea how to trim his nails? he doesn't like me to touch him.
  7. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    I suggest you sit outside and watch your birds. You will have your answer [​IMG]
  8. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    rooster damage---
  9. Chickie'sMoma

    Chickie'sMoma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    Rochester, NH
    looks like some rooster damage. has the boy has been trying to catch them? if he has he's been rough and probably not grabbing them on the back correctly.
  10. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Quote:If they really need trimming, you'll just have to do it, regardless of how he feels about it. It might be easiest if you have one person to hold him and one to trim. Catch him, hold him firmly with his wings pinned to his body so he can't flap, maybe wrap him in a towel with just his head and feet sticking out.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by