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pam771771

Cause of bare skin/no feathers chest/underneath?

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Hi all,

 

So I've had my 3 hens for about a year now, and never encountered a problem. But today when I picked one of them up I noticed that she had lost a lot of feathers on her underneath & chest area, and has a large patch of bare skin. Most of the area looks fine but there is a small patch that looks a little aggravated.

 

Just to look at her you'd never know as her feathers everywhere else are fine.

 

I've checked the other 2 and they are fine. And I've checked the coop and can't see any evidence of mites. I don't think they're fighting as I got them all together and they've been together for a year now.

 

What could be causing this? How can I prevent it from getting worse and get her feathers to grow back? And should I be worried/take her to the vets?

 

Sorry for all the questions but I'm fairly new to chicken keeping.

 

Thanks in advance

Pam

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Sometimes they peck each others' feathers out. Who knows why :roll: . For the sore bit, some purple spray can help disguise the redness which attracts them to peck (and will help the sore skin too).

 

One of mine was completely bald on the front of her neck thanks to her "friends" - they inexplicably stopped eventually and now all her feathers have grown back.

 

It could also be a sign of broodiness - has she been sitting on the nestbox a lot?

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Thanks for the response.

 

I haven't noticed any pecking, but the broody thing might be a possibility. I did notice last week the other 2 out in the run quite a bit without Belinda, but just assumed she must be laying.

 

I'll keep my eye out a bit more, and see if she's in there more then usual. (cube orange)

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Check her for lice, as they will pull out their own feathers if they are irritated by lice. It could be some feather pulling by another hen, but that is rarely on the chest and abdomen, more usually around the vent, on the back above the tail, or back of head.

 

Many hens will shed their underneath feathers in the summer as a means of cooling down (they can't sweat) and it is totally normal. Others will pull out their feathers and leave them in the nest box if they are broody.

 

Their skin is very fine, so it will look sore if it's exposed to the air/light; just give it a coating of Sudocrem, or Aloe Gel.

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Hi Dogmother :D Long time no see :wink:

 

I've got a feather puller/eater :evil: I'm at my wits end with her. She even manages to do it with a bumper bit on :shock: I've got some anti peck spray so will try that. Any other advice?

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No, the feather loss is on her bum and the back of her neck. I catch the other hen doing it. Bumper bits do not stop the culprit either :evil:

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Hey Paola *waves*

 

Is the bumper bit fitted correctly? If she is still pecking, then the spray ought to work, but be warned that it smells vile and stains, so wear gloves and don't (whatever you do) stand downwind when you spray it!

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I'd agree its plucking by another hen. One of ours is bald around the backside from being plucked by one other hen who kept pecking. Been bald for two months now. Feathers not grown back.

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Yeah, through the nostrils and between her beaks. I didn't read your post until now! I did get a mouthful but thankfully the stuff I used didn't stain! :roll::lol:

 

I'm now considering getting a cheap wooden coop to keep the feather eater in :twisted:

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