naked chickens : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I'm sure everyone knows this but me! I've had chickens for about 6 years and I'm not sure whether they're molting or not, but they're totally bald on their backs and sometimes their heads, too. At first, I attributed it to my rooster, but he's been gone for a couple of months and the hens show no sign of growing more feathers. Would this be a parasite problem? (If so, would diatomaceous earth help this?) Is it a deficiency in their diet? They seem to be healthy in every other way. Thanks for any help. debra in nm

-- debra haden (, September 05, 2000



How old are your chickens? Are they penned or free range? If they're older I would suspect moult, if not, make sure that they have a dust bath.

Not much of an answer I know but more info would help.

Good Luck.....

Jim T

-- Jim Tanner (, September 05, 2000.

I'm no chicken expert, but have seen chickens like that- it was caused by them picking on each other, also referred to as cannibalism. I think that feeding them fresh greens is supposed to help.

-- Rebekah (, September 05, 2000.

I have been under the impression that chickens molt twice ayear - if your rooster has been out of the picture for only a few months, they might not have started regrowing the feathers yet. The other chickens might also be picking, as well ( they seem to have a fascination with red anything - including skin!).

-- Judi (, September 05, 2000.

Thanks for all the input, guys! Yes, my chickens are still laying, and very well, I might add. They have lots of room to run around in their enclosure and get out in the evenings (not much lately, however, since my new dog is way TOO fascinated with them). They get plenty of supplemental food in the form of fruit and greens from the discards at the grocery store. I'm thinking it must be the molting- thing; they are definitely not pecking each other. I guess I'll just have to settle for ugly, naked chickens! I'm going to try to toss a little DE around the areas they dust also, can't hurt. I usually sprinkle a little in their oyster shell for internal parasite control. Thanks to all for the input. If anyone else has anything to add, I appreciate it! debra in nm

-- debra in nm (, September 06, 2000.

I have found that sometimes, if the skin has been "naked" for a long period of time, the feathers just don't grow back. I guess the follicle must get damaged from the constant pecking. Be sure you have enough floor space for all your birds.

-- Monica Flood (, September 07, 2000.

Chances are good they're being pecked. It's a difficult habit to break. You may not see it happening. Keep a closer watch and when you catch the offenders, separate them.

-- ~Rogo (, September 07, 2000.

I've got the same problem. Not all of the birds are effected but the ones that are seem fine otherwise. Mine range in a large fenced field, get feed store brand laying mash, have a rooster, places to dust, and seem to have plenty of room in the coop. There are about 19 hens. I keep watching to see if anyone else has suggestions.

-- Heather Gorden (, September 11, 2000.

I think you should kill all your chickens, sell them to me for 1/2 price so i can delight children all over the world with my chicken drummers. You could also try an ancient ritual that involves tying the feet and wings together and setting their tail feathers on fire, then place a bowl of water in front of them and shout'dance chicken dance'. (this is a serious answer to your question and if mocked i shall send round the heavies to cut off your balls and feed them to my pigs larry and barry)

I hope you find this answer helpful... goood luck with the problem

-- bernard matthews (, January 12, 2002.

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