We're freezing here-Naked Necks!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by countrycluckin, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. countrycluckin

    countrycluckin Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 24, 2012
    USA- Maine

    I live in Maine. For anyone who's not familiar with Maine during this time of year, we're buried in snow and experiencing extreme temps (below 0 on some days/nights!). And now some of our chickens are missing feathers along their neck...a lot of feathers. They aren't yet a year old, born in May, started laying in October. We've got 4 orpingtons, 2 easter eggers, a polish, and a dominique roo. They all act perfectly happy and healthy. Can they really be molting??? It's a really bad time of year for this. What else could cause loss of feathers in this area?

    I appreciate your feedback! I did a search of the forums and couldn't find anything that exactly matched the above.
    Thanks again!
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    It may be feather pecking/eating or possibly even molting. If one or two hens are in perfect condition, they are the feather pullers. Very frequently chickens get bored when cooped up during bad weather and develop bad habits. If you determine that it is feather picking, try outfitting the flock with Pinless Peepers until the spring when you can let them outside once again.
  3. countrycluckin

    countrycluckin Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 24, 2012
    USA- Maine
    I'd never heard of the Pinless Peepers. My son is highly amused by them....especially the one with the googly eyes. LOL I'll have to find some of these, it may help out my poor Polish who has to live alone because the Orps pick at her so. I went out and took a closer look at the chickens. Only one is missing the feathers on her neck and it looks a little irritated. The odd thing is is that she is the dominant hen in the group...for a long time I thought she might be a he, but she's not. She's quite aggressive. Could the roo be doing this to her?? Everyone else looks ok. Also, we just put in a red heat lamp into our coop because we were having consistent below 0 weather. Someone said the red light makes the birds peck at each other? Any ideas on chicken entertainment for those days when it's way too stormy or cold for them to go outside? They have 2sq ft per bird, rafters to sit on, straw to scratch around it, etc.
  4. mulelover1999

    mulelover1999 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2012
    You could go to your feed store and get a scratch block. It has seeds and grain stuck together kinds like a salt lick block and put it in their coop
  5. Brookliner

    Brookliner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2012
    Southern New Hampshire
    You could also try hanging a cabbage. Mine love cabbages.
  6. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    It does sound like boredom for the most part. I too get squabbles on the roost this time of year. My Black Australorp I noticed looked sort of thin on the back of her neck one day and many of her beautiful feathers on the coop floor. I just was reading this interesting thread a couple days ago about feather picking. Sometimes it can be boredom, but some put thoughts that it could be nutritive reasons. You'll have to judge. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697052/i-think-i-found-a-miracle-cure-for-feather-picking

    Also I make my own flock blocks for really cold days when the birds need to be cooped up. Here's that recipe. I have to sometimes substitute certain grain ingredients i don't have but it still turns out. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/10/flock-block-substitute-recipe-healthy.html

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