Rooster lost his feathers on his neck

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pepvk, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. pepvk

    pepvk New Egg

    Feb 25, 2015

    I've been searching the forum for the problem my rooster has, but thus far haven't found it.

    Since a week or 2 he's been losing feathers on his neck, underneath the wattle. Skin is quite red and seems irritated.




    I haven't seen any ladies pecking away at him (he has a harem of 6), but it seems unlikely he's pulled those feathers out himself. He doesn't seem to have any bugs on him, checked him quickly a few days ago (they're not used to being handled so he wasn't really fond of this enquiry). I don't notice him "scratching" himself either. Coop also seems to be bugfree.

    He's from a nest of four, last july. 3 brothers and a sis. He was the least dominant of the 3 brothers, but I liked him best so I culled the other 2 in stead a month or 2 ago. His sister has been missing since 10 days. (A dog came into the yard and chased after all of them, most fled oustside off the premises, but I retrieved them from neighbours or they came back by themselves. Only she went AWOL, asked around all the neighbours) She also had some feathers missing from her neck, though not nearly as much as the rooster, and the skin wasn't red.

    What could this be?

    thanks in advance,
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    It does look like feather plucking, it often seems to happen on the roost by the chickens next to the bird being plucked. You could try some of the no-pick sprays or pinless peepers often stop it pretty well. Giving them more to do and upping the protein the diet may help, but if you have a bird that has developed that habit you may need to try the peepers or separating her for awhile to see if knocking her down the pecking order helps. If it is happening on the roosts, rearranging them might help.
    If you see pinfeathers he could also be molting, some feather pluckers really like to eat pinfeathers then just start on the surrounding feathers.
    If you do a search on feather plucking or eating you will find quite a few posts on birds doing that.

    And, Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  3. pepvk

    pepvk New Egg

    Feb 25, 2015
    hi Kelsie,

    Thanks for the quick reply.
    I agree, I do think it's one of the ladies pecking at him. I've been observing them this afternoon for 1 1/2 hr or so, but I can't figure out who's doing it. When they went up into the coop all seemed calm and nobody seemed to be disturbing him. Also there aren't any feathers lying below the roosts.
    Since I haven't figured out who the culprit is, the peepers are a bit hard to utilise. Or I'd have to "blind" them all, which doesn't feel right to me somehow.
    The feed they get is 16% protein, a bit on the low side according to the posts I've been reading. Besides that they get leftovers, but we don't eat meat everyday so that's no help either. And mixed grain, but that's no proteins either. So today I gave them some raw beef, with which we feed the dog. They adore it and I think I'll give em some more the coming days, and the dog will have to make do with a bit more dryfood. I'll look into a more protein-rich feed for them.
    They get to freeroam as good as daily. Only when nobody's home the whole day they have to stay in the run (3mx2m), but I'll think about ways to create some more diversion for them inside.
    I'm from the Netherlands and the only spray I could find over here was in the parrots-&c section of the store. Just bitterness in a bottle. Don't think that 'lld stick to his bald patch, just to the feathers around it. I read about people having success using Blu-Kote, removes the "red flag", tastes bad and nourishes the skin. But they don't carry this either in NL, closest thing I could find was spray for (injured) hooves. But it says on the can it can also be used for navel-treatment, whatever that may be but I suppose it's to do with vulnerable/damaged skin-treatment. I'll try some horse/cattle shops tomorrow for blu-kote and otherwise I'll go for this, it's ecologic biodynamic organic &c so I guess it won't hurt if it doesn't help.

    regards, Ruud

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