Plucking undercarriage

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Routhfamilyfarm, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. Routhfamilyfarm

    Routhfamilyfarm In the Brooder

    May 13, 2014
    All my hens have bare skin beneath their butts...and on their backs just above their tales. I'm pretty sure that part is being picked off from another hen?? But underneath I'm not sure. Can anyone help?
  2. limited25

    limited25 Songster

    Mar 10, 2016
    If you are sure they don't have mites, then yes, you probably have a feather picker. You might have more than one. [​IMG]

    I had 4 hens, Honey, Mattie, Hilde, and Tricky, and a rooster named Reggie. Honey was at the top of the pecking order and did not allow anyone to pick her feathers (and she did not pick feathers). Mattie was 2nd on the pecking order and she was the feather picker. She picked feathers from Hilde mostly because Tricky would run from her.

    Hilde never grew feathers because as soon as they started growing in Mattie would pick them out (and eat them). I came on this forum for advise and everyone said to make sure they had plenty of room (their coop is adequate size for them, and their run is 4X the suggested size). They said make sure they had plenty of protein (they had a decent amount of protein and a good healthy diet), they said they might be bored ... they have a bale of straw to jump on, several bathing areas including a bird bath on an old tree stump, crates to jump on, treats, melons, etc. to occupy them. They said to try pin-less peepers and I did ... she stopped for a little while but went back to her bad behavior. I isolated her in the garage for a couple of weeks, she stopped for a little while, and then was back at it! You could just watch this hen and see something in her personality just made it seem like she couldn't stop, and I think she enjoyed it. Hilde got a cut by her tail from the rooster mating her. I decided to separate her and closed off part of the run so she has her own space now and her feathers are slowly starting to grow back.

    Mattie was now with Honey, Tricky, and Reggie. That left her one hen below her and she started to pick her feathers ... Tricky now standing there and letting her do it. We took Mattie out and decided it was time to re-home her (have been dealing with this problem for 13 months at this point). DH called up a friend who had many chickens and asked him if he wanted a "feather pickin chickin" ... he said why would I want that (LOL) but that he would ask his wife. Later that night they called and said they would take her ... his wife said she didn't think her hens would allow her to pick their hen's feathers. Mattie went to live with them.

    Now we have 3 hens with 2 missing feathers, but Hilde looks way worse than Tricky; and Hilde is in her own section of the run. We separated the rooster into his section of the run so he cannot get to the hens, and Honey and Tricky do fine together. It has been about a month and a half now and Tricky's feathers are pretty much grown in. Mattie has grown a lot of feathers but guess we did not realize how many feathers she was missing until she started growing new ones. I was advised it would probably take 3 months for her to fully regrow her feathers so we still have another 1 1/2 months to go. She still has an area on her back and under her butt that needs to get filled in.

    Our rooster is good at stopping "fights" between the hens, but guess he never saw feather picking as a problem. I feel I received good advise from BYC members, but I did everything everyone suggested and it just did not resolve the problem. I do believe it must work for some though.

    Recently we just acquired 5 new pullets (about 6 weeks old now) that are in a separate coop and run .... and I am hoping I do not get another Mattie! (or one with worse behavior!) [​IMG]

    So, try all the suggestions everyone gave me ... it might work for you. Good luck.
    1 person likes this.

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