Plucked Alive: A Whodunnit Mystery

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14 Years
Feb 14, 2009
Ok, my girls are looking pretty shabby today. I got some good advice a couple weeks ago thru the archives on some things to try to stop feather pulling. Two hens in particular were picked bare on the backside and a little on the wings. I applied to both a duct-tape saddle and they are not being plucked anymore at all.

(BTW, you really can fix anything with duct-tape! I had an old car I held together with duct-tape when I was younger!)

Anyhow, now the hen that I believed to be doing the picking has turned up with ALL of her big tail feathers pulled out (only the big black ones) and also most of her leg feathers too. The other 2 were not plucked in this MO. Is she so neurotic that she's now plucking herself?? Or do I start pointing the finger at my roo now? She seemed to be the dominant hen, I thought. I observed her many times pecking irritatedly at the other 2 hens while they'd be dust bathing and try to run them out of the sweet spots. However I believe the roo favors the other 2 over her.

Will they possibly ever get distracted from this behavior and quit? Or should I worry that they'll pass it on to this year's pullets?

I have thought about trimming the 2 suspects beaks a little (not debeaking, just a trim). Maybe that would help? Nobody's bleeding at this point. I don't want them to get that out of hand.

Any advice from similar experience would be appreciated!

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