Pullet with no tail....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mandelyn, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    My wildest bird, a Black Spanish pullet, I bought with another hen of the same breed. This one, didn't have a tail. She's flighty, scared, came from high harassment, I figured it would grow back. The other, looks awesome. They've both put on a lot of weight, have great glossy feathers. But... I still have a "rumpless" pullet. When I was cleaning the coop today, I noticed she had poo on her fluffy butt. She's a pain to catch, but I gave it a go.

    I've not bothered these birds since I got them, always working calm and quiet around then, bringing treats, in an effort to calm them down. They've improved.

    So I catch her, and she had dried poo all over her. Today was a very nice day, so now or Spring for a bath. Brought her inside, and she was surprisingly calm. I hold it and talk to her, while husband washes her butt. We get her cleaned up, and I start looking for the issue.

    Where is her vent? Off to the side! Where is her tail?? She has tail feathers, thick giant things trying to grow. But no "tail bump" like you normally see on a chicken. And the... end of the breast bone? Sticks out farther than anything else. So, she's deformed I think. I didn't see any scarring, so I don't think she was attacked by anything and healed that way.

    I'm really concerned laying an egg will hurt her. But maybe it won't? It's not too bad, just really odd. I've never seen anything like it.

    But, there has been some things learned today:

    - Nothing tames down a chicken faster than a bath and blow dry. She was standing on the bathroom counter while I dried her. No squawking, screaming, or panicking. Her heart rate was normal too, she seemed to enjoy it.

    - The most time consuming thing in the world is blow drying a chicken. I gave up and put her in a cage, and into the cool side of the brooder box. She preened for 2 hours and I finished the blow dry.

    - It's very noisy when you remove the friend to a another pullet. She would NOT shut up! Threw the whole coop into a tizzy.

    She's all cleaned up, and I trimmed what feathers I could as a preventive measure. The really thick tail feathers I knew would bleed if I cut them, and they're right where the vent is. She may have to be a house bird this winter so I can bathe her without shocking her system. But she was gross. Like REALLY gross. I wish I would have looked at her rumpless butt sooner.

    Has anyone else encountered anything like this before? How are "rumpless" fowl put together? Do they have these issues with poo catching on feathers on the way down?

    She acts normal. Eats, drinks, bickers with her friend, stands up for herself, flies, runs, all that. Nothing is an issue for her. But laying an egg.... that I don't know about. Don't know how long before that time will come, the breed is a late bloomer. I think they're about 5 months old now, I've had them for 2 months.

    She trusts me now though, doesn't run to the far side of the wall and pace like I'm the boogy man coming for her.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Cute story!

    I'd put some lubricant on those butt feathers, for sure. Vaseline, veg or mineral oil, whatever, anything to make it easier to get the poo off.

    I know rumpless chickens have a bit of a deformity, and I agree, yours certainly seems to have some. Egg laying may go fine, though, only time will tell. If she were mine I'd give her the chance. I know you'll watch her for signs of being in pain; don't know what else you could do.

    One thing about it, you wouldn't want to breed her, but I'll bet roosters will miss the mark anyway.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2010
  3. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    Well this is the perfect home for her, no roosters!

    But a rumpless White Face black Spanish? So.. could it be a gene then that randomly pops out? The breed isn't the popular. I googled it, and it seams to be well known in Araucana as a variety.

    Does anyone have a photo of the rear end of a rumpless bird for comparison? That would show the "layout"?

    The only other thing I can think of, is she was attacked by something and healed... but it doesn't look like that. But she was certainly flighty as could be and WILD. More so than her "sister" that has the normal look.

    So coat the feathers I can't cut that are in the way. Good idea! We'll try it.

    I really expected her to grow a tail back, but after waiting, and nothing sprouting, I patiently caught her, slow and steady with one fast grab. She was pretty funny after she was alright with the situation. Talking to me, not trying to escape. Like she came to the conclusion I'm not going to hurt her.

    I really hope laying eggs doesn't kill her. I feel bonded with her now after yesterday. Wonder if she'll eat from my hand today, or not act like I'm some chicken serial killer when I enter the coop.

    My Red Stars when I got them, they were already tame. The other two big girls, accepting of me but not tame, were being mean to them during the introduction. So they hid on my lap after realizing I scared the other two away. It was so cute!
  4. luvmyhens

    luvmyhens In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2010
    La Mirada, California
    I have a Rhode Island White who never grew her tail feathers I have hatched her myself so I know that nothing happened to her, she just never grew them. She also like yours has poo on her all the time, I just wash it off about 1x a week. She started laying eggs in August and seems to have no problems. It's just a pain washing her off all the time and she never looks clean from the back side. So just give yours a chance she may be fine at laying.

  5. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Here's what a truly rumpless bird looks like:


    Notice how the feathers smoothly slope down into a fine line that meets the rump fluff?

    Often a hen or rooster of a breed that isn't normally rumpless can have its tail feathers pulled at a very young age, causing it to be "rumpless" until it next molts. But, there is a difference between truly rumpless (which is very rare outside Araucanas and Manx Rumpies) and having its tail feathers removed.
  6. FrancesR

    FrancesR In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2010
    I have a tailless RIR...the only chicken I have that's been named..."Rosebutt." She lays eggs just fine and nobody seems to notice that she's different.
  7. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    Well my main cause for concern is when I was cleaning her, I was looking at the anatomy of why she had this issue. Her vent is not in the usual place, it's slightly off set to the left. Not where it should be. So, internally everything could be just fine, and her eggs will just hang a left turn on the way out. Or would she be more prone to being egg bound?

    I do know she came from over crowded brooders. Brooders that were outside, where wildlife could visit. Relatively secure, but you didn't want to be the birds in the front corners. Because of the crowding, someone had to be there. She also has a "kink" in her neck. Head swivels and moves around right, just the set of it is off and her normal look is slightly to the right.

    So... is it deformity, several issues from the brooder situation, or an encounter with coon grabby hands. Doubt I'll ever know.

  8. rainmaker

    rainmaker Hatching

    Apr 18, 2012
    hi what is the breed of this hen in the photo ?
  9. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Songster

    Oct 31, 2008
    Sight unseen, I;'d say birth defect because of the neck issue too. Not every chick hatches perfectly.

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