Pullet with small circle of feathers missing from back - no roosters


In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 30, 2010
Vancouver, WA
Hi everyone -

I went out this morning to check on the chickens and I have a pullet with a small circle of feathers missing right in front of her tail. There is a little bit of blood, and some of the feathers are half gone. There are a few feathers around the coop from her, but only about three - all of the others seem to have disappeared. All of the other chickens are fine, no abnormalities. All of her feathers were there yesterday. Any thoughts? What can I do to help her heal more quickly?


Ouch : ( did something get a hold of her thru the coop run?? I would clean it and apply some bluekote at the very least/maybe some neosporin(gthe kind without pain reliever)
My neighbors had that problem this past spring...

It looks like feather picking (chickens peck each others feathers and eat them). It usually happens when chickens are crowded and/or bored.


- Put some anti-pick stuff on her bald patch (different companies sell stuff for this).
- Give them more space by: enlarging their run, and/or letting them free-range, and/or downsizing the flock (chickens need a minimum of 10 sq. feet coop/run space).
- You may need to separate her from the others until her feathers grow back.

This kind of thing gets out of hand really quick. If left alone, it gets a lot worse.

Hope this helps... Good luck!
Oh, dear! Feather picking is a tough one. I agree with all that Cowgirl71 said, although I wouldn't separate her unless absolutely necessary (but do not put her in with her coopmates until after dealing with that wound). Use some Blukote on that area first to minimize the appearance and cover the blood. Good thing you caught it early enough to save the bird. Feather picking starts with feathers and can end in cannibalism. Over the Blukote I would apply Hot Pick/No pick to make her unsavory to nibble on.

You need to look at your set-up and figure out what is displeasing to your birds. Are they getting enough protein in their feed? Do they have enough space? Are they bored? Is there a bully in the pen that needs to be addressed? Any one of these could be related to the problems you are seeing. Address the underlying issue and you may never see a return of this very undesirable behavior. Do it quickly, though because this is a tough bad habit to break once it's established.

I'd also do a quick bug check just to cover all your bases. I don't think she did that kind of damage to herself, but you never know.

Good luck.
We have an EE that looked exactly like that about 2 weeks ago. The only thing I could figure out is that she scraped her back on something. The wound dried up overnight and looked like dried skin a few days later and now she has feathers growing back in. I never found any feathers or any place that she could have done it. This does not look like feather picking but a scrape like we get a "razzberry" or "road rash". However the other chickens may start to pick at the blood spot if they see it....
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Thanks for asking! I just now saw this. She seems to be doing better, I put some BluKote and Rooster Booster on there the first day and they haven't been picking at her since. I've also been letting them out in the yard as much as possible, even though they have more than 10 sq ft per bird it didn't seem to be enough. I put a flock block in the run for when they have to be in there and can't be let out. After I posted last time I saw a few of the other girls picking her feathers, so I know that's what it was, and she would run away from them if they got to close. Now she's happy to be right with them in the yard and on the roosts. I just hope the behavior doesn't come back!
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