bald hen

claraserena(4)June 3, 2007

One of my hens (age 2) is not doing well. She has had a bare spot on her back for a long timeÂabout 6 weeks ago I made her a saddle and sheÂs had it on since. About two feathers have started to grow back under the saddle. The saddle does not cover the tops of her wings and they are bare. She is getting very bare around her tail and has a bare area on her chest. The bare skin on the tops of her wings and on her head has darkened in places and looks tough almost leathery. I have never seen any other chicken pecking her. In fact, she is the head hen and has always been the one to keep the others in line.

I do not see any sign of mites or other things. None of the other hens have this. I have some Blu-Cote but I am worried that might hurt her bare skin even more. Should I assume she is getting pecked and I just don't see it? Will the Blu-cote sting and is that the best (this is a can of spray). Is there anything I can do for her to get the feathers to grow back? She acts fine, is still laying.

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I'd isolate her until she grows her feathers back, give her lots of protein to help grow new feathers. Make sure she has lots of room to roam and isn't bored--give her treats that take time to eat (raw corn on the cob). It gives her nutrition, keeps her entertained and gives her something else to peck besides herself.

You can also relieve the dry, itchy skin with vitamin E. Get some vitamin E capsules at the grocery store, pop a hole in one end of a capsule with a pin, and squeeze the contents into her mouth once a day for a week or so. Try to keep her out of direct sunlight so her delicate little chicken skin doesn't burn. :)

If she is picking herself, you may have to put an anti-pick cone on her, like they do with dogs and cats.

Good luck with her~ :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 1:28PM
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Thank you Velvet! I will try the vitamin E. I did bring her indoors last winter for a week to see if she would grow feathers. Not much happened and she was miserable. She really wants to be with the others. If I do pen her off during the day I don't think she'll be happy but I will try that. I want her to be able to roost with others ( and her head rooster) at night. Would you put the Blu-Kote on her? or is there anything else I could rub on the rough parts of her skin--maybe vitamin E?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 8:07AM
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