What's happening to my chickens? Photos attached

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jenncilia, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. jenncilia

    jenncilia New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Feb 11, 2012
    My rooster and some of the hens are losing their feathers over their backs. I'm new to raising chickens so am looking for help. It doesn't look like moulting, I haven't found any bugs but am suspicious of lice. Any ideas? Thank you!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  2. chick007

    chick007 secretagent chickenman

    86
    2
    31
    Sep 25, 2011
    anchorage, alaska
    looks like you have feather picking goiong on, many reasons. overcrowding, and lack of protien top the lists
     
  3. Frost Homestead

    Frost Homestead eggmonger

    1,452
    16
    148
    Jul 9, 2011
    Lago Vista, TX
    X2
     
  4. Or it's just behavior. Often, plucking happens when there is overcrowding. That was not our issue, nor was the lack of protein (although a higher protein boost will help them get their feathers back faster). We ended up going with peepers, and while it worked for some of the pluckers, I still have one who is an active plucker with her peepers on. I'm planning on separating her out as soon as I can turn loose my other chicken in the quarantine brooder.

    I put peepers on everyone, because the other on-pluckers went right for the peeper and I could tell that was going to be problematic. So, they all got them. The one still doing it is apparently smart enough to have determined she can still pluck straight on even though she can't see straight ahead. I may try changing out her peeper, but honestly, the one she has looks intact so I'm not sure what changing it would do to help (plus, she was able to get the first one off in a few days).

    Good luck!
     
  5. farm-a-zootical

    farm-a-zootical Chillin' With My Peeps

    123
    7
    83
    Sep 29, 2011
    Our story is the same as Tikkijane's. Peepers have mostly solved our problems. I have only one mild mannered one that doesn't need the peepers. A couple will turn their heads sideways & try to pluck a feather at the 'watering hole', but are extremely limited. So, the peepers have been a help for sure. I was fighting a losing battle until I applied those. Once they start that habit, it's a done deal in most cases.
     
  6. I had one chicken that everyone went after (pics on my blog here:http://tikktok.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/i-threatened-to-do-it/) and I just brought poor Bella back in. She was getting plucked (and was a little bloody) again under the chin by another who had her peepers on. They have clearly gotten around it. Poor Bella is at the total bottom of the pecking order, and she's a bit freaked out to be inside with Butternut (flock mistress who has some weird thing going on- posted about this in the bloody poo thread) who is not letting her eat yet. I definitely thinks it helps, but for us, it is not a cure yet. I wonder if it's because I waited as long as I did.........
     
  7. And this is where they were outside free ranging, fwiw..............
     
  8. farm-a-zootical

    farm-a-zootical Chillin' With My Peeps

    123
    7
    83
    Sep 29, 2011
    We were able to keep ours pluckers limited while they were 'free-range'. However, the hawks put a stop to that. The have a good size coop & run but went at each other like mad once bored. I waited too long, too, trying everything all the more knowledgeable people advised. I'll take the peepers off in a few months but am prepared to put them right back on because I think the desire to bully has simply been supressed. Probably be like taking them off ritalin. :)
     
  9. jenncilia

    jenncilia New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Feb 11, 2012
    Thank you very much! When I looked up this behavior, it makes perfect sense. We got a few old logs for them to peck at and started letting the free range (although its a bit chilly here) and they are having a ball. Hopefully they will heal and knock it off!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by