Rooster with a pecked head and neck

Dee the Feather

In the Brooder
Sep 13, 2020
18
15
26
Oxfordshire, England
Looks like moulting to me. Birds are vulnerable when moulting and sometimes hide away a bit until they get their mojo back.

If the hen has pecked wounds, then she will carry on as the blood and scabs attract her. Good idea to separate her for a while.
Hi Chicalina, thank you for the reassurance - I will keep Louise separate, she's pretty chilled about it. How long do you think I should leave her in the sin bin? As to Dennis I hope he will get his mojo back. Thank you for the psychology, it is so unlike him to not be centre stage, so glad to know it is probably just the moult.
 

Dee the Feather

In the Brooder
Sep 13, 2020
18
15
26
Oxfordshire, England
I figured but wasn't sure......pretty worthless whatever it's called.
If bird has bugs, something better is needed....hard to find over there tho, eh?
Hi Aaart, I've ordered something a bit more forceful but actually can't find any signs of bugs on Dennis to speak of. So am hoping it's what Chicalina says, a grumpy moult rather than anything else!
 

Chicalina

Crowing
Aug 1, 2020
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I would see how she behaves around him after a couple of days.

If there are any red scabs and she pecks them you can use bluekote on them. Have you got better close up pics if the pecked areas?

She may be preening him to loosen the waxy feather shafts on the new feathers. Perhaps a bit too enthusiastically? Anyway, watch them and use your judgment.

If you do see any mites, then you can buy pigeon ivermectin spot-on from amazon here. I just double the dose for a bigger bird.
 

Wyorp Rock

Blessed
Premium Feather Member
Sep 20, 2015
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Hello all, wondering if you experienced folks out there can help me again.. our rooster Dennis in the last 4 - 5 days has had a very scraggy neck and is generally out of sorts. I thought he might have impacted crop so looked into that; then possibly lice (am still looking into that one) but today I saw our head chicken Louise actually pecking his neck... Also he seems to have lost ground in the yard and is no longer standing proudly centre stage. I read that hens can get jealous of the rooster giving all attention to another hen? Or is she maybe pecking lice or mites off him? It can't go on though as he is losing a lot of quills.... any advice gratefully received.
These are single pecks so I don't think she is preening him.
She has actually made little wounds.
I have only seen Louise peck him twice to be fair. Do you think he's just moulting?
Feeding them chick starter with snacks now
Looks like he's molting to me. He's likely not feeling very well.
The hen may just be picking at the keratin sheaths coming off or picking at the new feathers.
Show photos of the little wounds.

I would provide him with extra protein (eggs, meat, fish or chick starter), but make sure he's eating his normal nutritionally balanced poultry feed. You can also offer some poultry vitamins for a boost.
He may be feeling a bit sorry for himself for a couple of weeks, but unless he has something else going on, this too will pass.
 

Dee the Feather

In the Brooder
Sep 13, 2020
18
15
26
Oxfordshire, England
Hi all on this thread, thanks for your advices and just giving you an update on Dennis and Louise who has been pecking his neck - I've researched your advices and I'm pretty sure she is doing what you say - ie pecking him where he is moulting - hackles/pin feathers - but she keeps picking a patch on his neck bald whenever I let her out of the naughty step pen... so should I just keep her there for a couple of weeks till he is a bit less ragged?? - and thanks for the diet notes Charlie Girl, I'll start giving him some extra protein too.
 

Wyorp Rock

Blessed
Premium Feather Member
Sep 20, 2015
33,427
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Hi all on this thread, thanks for your advices and just giving you an update on Dennis and Louise who has been pecking his neck - I've researched your advices and I'm pretty sure she is doing what you say - ie pecking him where he is moulting - hackles/pin feathers - but she keeps picking a patch on his neck bald whenever I let her out of the naughty step pen... so should I just keep her there for a couple of weeks till he is a bit less ragged?? - and thanks for the diet notes Charlie Girl, I'll start giving him some extra protein too.
Have you checked him really well for lice and mites too?
Generally I don't separate hens from the flock, if needed, I move the rooster.
 

Cee

Songster
Nov 3, 2017
142
99
123
Albuquerque, NM
Hi all on this thread, thanks for your advices and just giving you an update on Dennis and Louise who has been pecking his neck - I've researched your advices and I'm pretty sure she is doing what you say - ie pecking him where he is moulting - hackles/pin feathers - but she keeps picking a patch on his neck bald whenever I let her out of the naughty step pen... so should I just keep her there for a couple of weeks till he is a bit less ragged?? - and thanks for the diet notes Charlie Girl, I'll start giving him some extra protein too.
Maybe you could look into pinless peepers for Louise so you don't have to seperate anyone?
 

Chicalina

Crowing
Aug 1, 2020
1,594
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UK
Personally I think pinless peepers are cruel.

I would separate the pecker not the peckee. Isolating a chicken reduces their standing in the flock and you don't want a moulting rooster being reduced further. An aggressive or otherwise troublesome hen needs to be brought down a peg though.

Separating her for a week or two until his feathers have grown in is one option. Another might be to cut the foot off an old sock and slide the ribbed tube part over his neck for a bit and keep it on during the day only to protect his feathers until they grow.
 

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