Plucked Butts!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Our Roost, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 13, 2011
    ScottsVille, michigan
    Recently traveling the northern west coast of Michigan I passed a local sign advertizing "Farm Fresh Eggs". Soooo, my girlfriend and I ventured down a rural country road and came upon an old farm house and dwelling in need of severe maintanence and showing its true age of the times. No one appeared home but we seen the heads of chickens in the backyard and decided to drive around to take a look at the coop dwelling and chicks. Much to our surprise, it appeared inhospitable for chicks to live in such a confined, dilapidated area that looked like something from the backwoods of an old movie. Too many chicks in a small pent up area confined to their space. What really saddened us was the plucked butts of most of the hens in the small but confined fenced yard area. I surely wouldnt want to eat an egg pooped out of one of those butts! We are purchasing our first flock of chicks in the spring of 2012 and are concerned about territorial behavior of the chicks as they grow together. Is this plucked butt a common cause or is it neglect on the owners part? Surely dont want to see this activity in our pen.[​IMG]
     
  2. Marcymom3

    Marcymom3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    EWWWWW!!! We only have eight chickens and ours are fine. Got the first egg a few days ago. [​IMG] I think I have read that overcrowding causes the pecking problem. You're supposed to have 2 sf/bird in the coop and 10 sf/bird in the run. If they were that crowded, no wonder it was awful!
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, it could have been mite issues. Chickens can get mites whether they're well cared for or not. But in the case of well cared for birds, they're treated upon a discovery, and generally are discovered fairly quickly. Or it could be overcrowding/boredom issues. Once again, those who don't care well for their birds couldn't care less about overcrowding issues, plucked butts, or pretty much anything else.
    There's nothing wrong with a hundred year old, ugly coop. But there is something wrong with poor care of one's livestock or pets (although the birds in question obviously weren't pets). Obviously different people have different views on acceptable animal care. [​IMG]
     
  4. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the South
    You are assuming alot here.

    First, since you don't raise chickens how did you know they were overcroweded?

    Second, the plucked butts, as you call them, could have simply been the moult. This time of year chickens moult. If you saw mine right now and know nothing of birds you'd probably think the same thing! Every year adult birds go thru an annual moult. Some become entirely denuded!

    Or, it could have been the pecking order.

    Just saying................
     
  5. Pretty Pony

    Pretty Pony Out Of The Brooder

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    Ft. Smith, AR
    I have one or two hens right now without any tail feathers. I let them out each day and have to pen them up at night to keep the predators away. Out of 15 only two have naked butts. [​IMG]
     
  6. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,102
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    Jan 13, 2011
    ScottsVille, michigan
    As newcomers and first timers to raising chicks, the information I recieved from all your responses has been very valuable. First off, I didnt know about birds molting and losing feathers annually. We would have been shocked had this happened without knowing its a normal process and noticed featherless butts in our midst! Secondly, the amount of birds living in the run area, based on BYC'S square footage needed per bird, was to my observation to small for the amount of birds caged there. They may well be free range birds that hadnt been let out for the day as yet. Lack of information and comment on my part. Thirdly, the old farm house and coop was very unique to see that both of them had survived years of winters in Michigan and were both still lived in and functional! A part of history there probabally worth sharing. Truly a good movie setting! Still getting educated and somewhat dumbfounded with every thing and all the articles I read from BYC. A truly great source for anyone loving chicks! Thanks for the responses.
     
  7. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm glad we were of some help to you.

    One of the things you will discover when it comes to cold nights (you did say northern MI: I'm in SC.... big difference) with chicks is that by limiting space (somewhat crowded) you help them to keep warm. They are going to huddle together almost like a covey of quail anyway.

    There are some really good chicken resources out there. At your local library you'll probably discover some great book on chickens you can checkout and read.

    Best of fortune to you.
     

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