Plucked feathers on hens

juniperz

Chirping
Aug 10, 2017
44
33
74
I have a flock of 11 hens and 3 roosters (one old one and two juveniles). Two of the hens have been getting their feathers pecked for a long time (since spring I believe), and it's gotten quite bad at this point. I've never been able to catch sight of who is pecking them or when. I know that roosters can scratch up hens when they mate but the damage has moved to places that don't seem like they'd be due to spurs. Is there anything I can do to make them more comfortable, besides removing them from the flock? I'm afraid that the peckers would just start bullying someone else? Would sweaters help or just be a different sort of annoyance to them?

Neither of them act like they are afraid of the other chickens. When I toss out treats they are able to come in and eat without getting chased away. They sleep in the coop with everyone else.

Both of the hens arrived as chicks in August 2017. Here is the Easter Egger:
18-11-15_easteregger.jpeg

And here is the Black Sex Link:
18-11-15_blacksexlink.jpeg

Two of the other hens who are the same age also show minor signs of pecking, I think. Buff Orpington:
18-11-15_bufforpington.jpeg

Silver Laced Wyandotte:
18-11-15_silverlacewyandotte.jpeg
 

Big Red Roosters

Songster
Nov 7, 2018
185
452
147
United States of America
Those are caused by too many/rough roosters. Your hens look really bad.
You need to pick one, the other two you can keep together separate from the hens. The juveniles are going through a hormone phase where they just go nuts over mating. Keep them together, but away from hens for awhile and they'll calm down. By awhile, I mean months. You'll need more hens too if you'd like to keep all 3 roosters in the flock. Most people would say 30 hens, but I have 20 hens with 3 roosters and not a feather is broken on any of them.
I have rooster flocks, they are fun to watch and very friendly. Hens are what tend to make roosters "mean".
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,752
556
Consett Co.Durham. UK
I totally agree with the above post. Your adolescent males are a major probelm and need removing from the flock. The age of your hens suggests they are also probably moulting which will account for feather loss in other areas. This is an annual event for birds over a year old. Being mated whilst they are moulting is not only uncomfortable for them but will damage their new plumage and may result in them being bald in those areas until next autumn or the feathers coming in white due to the damage. Please give your hens a break and remove those hormonal boys either permanently or at least until next year.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
17,609
137,684
1,582
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
That doesn't look like pecking damage to me. That looks like randy rooster work.
It's not the roosters spurs that damage the back feathers or the shoulders, it's their feet.
Why isn't the senior rooster keeping the cockerels off the hens?
I keep small groups with one senior rooster and often one cockerel and the senior rooster won't let the junior mate with the hens.
You could if you don''t want to kill the cockerel file their toes nails. You just need to take the points off, nothing drastic.
The hens feathers will grow back and bare backed hens isn't too serious unless blood is being drawn. Strangely what you may have to watch out for is the hens getting sunburn.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,502
10,880
611
North Florida

juniperz

Chirping
Aug 10, 2017
44
33
74
The junior roosters have only been with the hens for 6 weeks and this has been happening for much longer, so it wouldn't account for all of the damage. However it is definitely continuing to get worse so they may be contributing. I added them because the old rooster was injured and I wasn't sure if he would make it. (He's recovered fine.) I can cull them if needed, and try trimming the old one's nails. I'm not allowed to get rid of him.

They have a coop with door open all the time and an enclosed run. Here's some photos. I couldn't tell you the exact dimensions.
17-12-21_treesawing3.jpg

18-09-14_straw1.jpg

18-09-14_straw4.jpg
 

juniperz

Chirping
Aug 10, 2017
44
33
74
Just wanted to update that I decided to buy a couple of Hen Savers for the two girls who are looking really bad. Since the damage started long before the juvenile roosters came around, the old one who I'm not allowed to get rid of is partially to blame. So covering them up should help. Then I'll monitor and see if I still need to get rid of the two extra roos. Or maybe the old one will finally kick the bucket.
 

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