Red bare bum in winter


8 Years
Jan 6, 2012
Hi there,

We have 2 standards and a bantam in a 10x6 backyard coop/pen. My husband has been looking after them for the past few weeks... so I was a bit shocked when I noticed that our large black hen has a red, bare bum.

They are fed an organic laying feed, and kitchen scraps in addition to oyster shells. Pine shavings in coop and sand floor in the pen. I did not notice any pecking from the other 2 - in fact, she is the one to be known to peck, not the others. Stools appear normal, as far as I could see.

I have read some other relevant posts and realize that I need to check for mites in the am. I will also add to their diet plain yogurt, and hang some cabbage and what not to prevent boredom. Also, refill their grit, as it has run out and likely has been out for a few weeks.

The temp here is from -5 to +7 celcius. I worry about her red, exposed bottom on cold days. Is this a problem? We do not use a heat lamp... but do have one for really cold days, should I be turning this on at night? Also, should I be dusting even if I can't find a mite? And lastly, do I need to be concerned about disinfecting the coop in winter? I would assume that a mite could not survive the cold?

Thanks in advance!!

Sounds like lice, try dusting all of them with a good poultry dust or use Sevin dust (found in the garden center) you will also need to dust down there house/sleeping area. Good luck!
Thanks for the reply. I brought our hen inside today to get a good look at her. I checked her neck, her rump, and under her wing and found nothing! (Assuming I would be looking for something as small as dog lice, which I have seen many times). She does have a couple bald spots on the front of her neck as well. I felt her red bare rump, and it felt nice and warm to my surprise. Looks swollen... but I haven't every seen a bare chicken bum before... so I have nothing to compare.

After stringing up some cabbage, and giving them some yogurt, I noticed one of the chickens give my bantam a peck on the back. Upon closer inspection, I notice she has a couple broken feathers at the base and they are bleeding - so now, of course... it has become a spot of interest for the other two. I tried to rearrange her feathers to cover the area... and hope the food will distract until I come up with a plan.

I have heard of the purple spray... (not sure if I will be able to find some here), would this work on my bantam... and perhaps the bare bum?

Should I still dust with Sevin even though I haven't actually seen anything?

Thanks all!

Blue Kote is the purple spray you are talking about and it is supposed to disguise the wound. In my experience, it is a very temporary solution and is a major mess to work with. It will not come off of anything it gets on so beware. It will be all over the hand you are spraying with and will stain your skin, clothing, etc.
It sounds like feather picking to me and I am dealing with a second flock who has started this nasty habit. Not to be a downer, but I have tried everything and had no success in ever breaking them of it. I hope you have more luck than I do.
ecocheapomom - thank you. I wish you luck!!

I also just read about Pine Tar... where would one find this?

I think I'll have to inspect the feathers closer to see if it's stopped bleeding etc... as well. It appeared to be coagulating when I looked at it.
I had a BO with a totally bare butt all summer.... Sees as if she was going thru a weird molt. Her butt was pretty pink in color, but as soon as the rest of her feathers started to molt, new feathers grew in and she is as good as new....
If the cause is a feather-picker, I found Blu-Kote to be very helpful. Wear a glove if you are worried about getting some on you.
Meanwhile, if you can watch them and see who is pulling out the feathers (we had 2 culprits), then you could try putting pinless peepers on them.

you go this route, I recommend putting them on just as it is getting dark, and setting the chicken on the roost. It will take two people. I didn't like the idea of these, but it solved our problem.
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