My hens are showing bald spots

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by nancygene, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. nancygene

    nancygene New Member

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    We have 17 hens and no roosters. A few of my hens have some bald spots located behind their wing and close to their fanny. A couple have feathers missing on their backs near their tails, but I think this happened when we had the rooster that we had because I saw him picking on some of the hens. However, I cannot tell what is now causing some of my hens to loose their feathers. I have not seen any of the other hens picking on them, so it is hard to spot the problem. Anyone have any ideas? I feel bad for my poor girls that are loosing their feathers.:mad:
     
  2. Bird_slave

    Bird_slave Junior Member

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    How old are your hens? Is it time for their yearly molt? For future reference - Chickens typically have their first adult molt around the age of 18 months old. Some individual birds will do what I call a mini-molt in the 9 month old range. After their 18 month old molt, you can expect one about every twelve months after that.
    The other thing to look for would be mites. Easiest way I've found to confirm mites is to arm yourself with a flashlight, go into the coop after dark when all the birds are roosting. Pick a hen, any hen, and shine the flashlight around her vent area and under the wings. Mites will look like little flecks of black, red or white pepper moving around.
     

  3. nancygene

    nancygene New Member

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    Thanks so much for your reply. I suspect it is mites. My hens are not quite a year old yet. I think I will have to go to the farm store and find something to fight the mites with...
     
  4. Bird_slave

    Bird_slave Junior Member

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    Are you in the US?
    There are several different products you can use to treat mites, including at least one that will also worm them (Ivomec-Pour On), but if you want to avoid the chemicals I've had good success with a product called Poultry Protector.
    You'll need to clean out their bedding, including the nestboxes, spray the nooks, crevices, roosts and empty nestboxes with the PP and let dry. Then treat your hens by spraying some of it around their vent, under each wing and if you suspect or find mites around their necks, a little at the back of their skull.
    It's an all natural product and I've been very pleased with how well it works.