The fabulous self plucking hen....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LovinMyPeeps, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. LovinMyPeeps

    LovinMyPeeps Sees Wine Dots

    Mar 22, 2009
    Heuvelton, NY
    Well, really not so fabulous. So I have a picker, but she doesn't peck at others, she just merely pulls her own feathers out. I have tried no-pick and placing a saddle on her. She has picked the lower part of her back, front of her neck and belly down to the down, some of her tail feathers are missing. What do I do for her? She is on layer ration, she is free range for 12 hours a day on average. She is a good weight, lays daily, is otherwise healthy, just BALD. She has plenty to do and to play with. Has a 1/4 acre and a huge roosting coop that is not overcrowded at night. She is fed Homestead Organics Layer Mash and has access to the younger birds starter/grower but generally doesnt go near it. My poor hen looks like a partially feathered bowling ball...
  2. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    Sounds like OCD. Do chickens get that?
  3. LovinMyPeeps

    LovinMyPeeps Sees Wine Dots

    Mar 22, 2009
    Heuvelton, NY
    I dont know but maybe the whole over-preening thing is like handwashing... never thought of that.
  4. TreeHugger

    TreeHugger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2008
    Odd. I'm assuming you've checked for mites or lice. I've never heard of self plucking in chickens. However, I do know that parrots will do it. Normally it's related to diet, stress, boredom or hormonal changes. I'm wondering if the new feathers itch when they are growing back in and it makes her pluck them back out? Maybe you could give her a bath with a conditioning type shampoo that would sooth her skin? I have a polish rooster whose head got plucked bald. The feathers wouldn't grow back in because he kept getting the top of his head sunburned and he would scratch at it with his feet. I ended up putting him in a cage where he couldn't get sunburned and put aloe gel (something for horses) on his head until his feathers grew back in.
  5. LovinMyPeeps

    LovinMyPeeps Sees Wine Dots

    Mar 22, 2009
    Heuvelton, NY
    Quote:Hmmm... no mites or live, but I like the soothing the skin idea, yes that would stand to reason... I may just try that tomorrow!
  6. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    Quote:Boy, and I thought we had some weird chickens! [​IMG]

    Nah, in all seriousness, I have no idea. we had a picker, but she picked everyone else! I thought they only pulled their own feathers when they were broody?

    Guess you have a unique chicken for a unique owner! [​IMG]
  7. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2009
    We have a dog that licks her leg bloody. It's awful. She was a stray and abused. Poor girl. I would get your hen a saddle. Maybe you could have one custom made if a regular one doesn't cover all the bald spots. Once they all grow back in maybe she wouldn't do it again? Good luck to you. I'm having a he** of a time figuring out regular chicken behavior. I really wish someone would come up with a dictionary. Our roosters sound more like cats most of the time.
  8. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Air conditioning.....

    Seriously though, I read somewhere on here that giving them red treats will help to stop it if they are picking blood filled feathers. It's worth a try!
  9. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    Interesting... I wonder if they make E-collars for chickens? [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by