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#14737 - 06/06/05 01:28 PM Bald backs and BlueKote
Stick Dog Offline
Chicken

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 105
Loc: Kansas
I have several 1-yr old hens with bald patches on their backs from feather picking. Two in particular that I felt needed some help. I did some looking around in the forum and saw the medication Blue Kote mentioned. The only place I could find it was at Murray McMurray. It's a spray. Any ideas from anyone how the heck the hens are going to sit still for getting this sprayed on their backs?!? frown How do you hold them to accomplish this? Since my rooster is an attacker, I don't get to spend the kind of time I would like to with my girls. So my hens are a little skittish of me. Would it be better to remove the picked hens from the rest of the flock while I try to apply this spray? Should I try a different kind of medication? Everything I found was for horses. My goal is to help them let their feathers grow back so I was hoping the Blue Kote would keep them from picking each other's and their own feathers. Am I on the right track?

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#14738 - 06/06/05 05:31 PM Re: Bald backs and BlueKote
Lacey Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 427
Loc: Pennsylvania
Chances are the girls you think are pecked on are really over bred by your rooster. Only way to prevent tha is to cage the rooster up. Once the hens go through molt their feathers will come in nice. Now if there are open sores on the backs then perhaps it is pecking. how many hens are there? I believe people do use blue kote on chickens. If it is inded pecking put it on at night. Go out with a flash light and spray away, it will be so much easier at night. Good luck!

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#14739 - 06/07/05 10:33 AM Re: Bald backs and BlueKote
Stick Dog Offline
Chicken

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 105
Loc: Kansas
Thanks for the reply, Lacey. I know the rooster is keeping busy but I believe he is wearing off the feathers on their wings rather than on the middle of their backs. There are no open sores, just bald skin with no feathers or downy feathers trying to re-grow. They aren't going through a molt either because it's just on their backs. There's no progression of losing feathers allover. There are 11 hens and only about 2 or 3 look like they aren't being pecked. I also think the hens are pecking their feathers out themselves. I might try this at night. I really need to find a different place for the rooster to spend the night because he can be a terror.

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#14740 - 06/07/05 11:05 AM Re: Bald backs and BlueKote
Anonymous
Unregistered


stickdog:
I agree with Lacey, the male is taking the feathers off the backs of the hens when he breeds with them. Roosters have favourites and also some hens they don't breed much which is the reason you have a few hens that aren't showing much wear. I would be surprised to find a hen that picks the feathers off her own back.
Blue kote can't hurt but I don't think it will help either, unless you remove the rooster.
As Lacey advised, the feathers will return when the birds moult.

James

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#14741 - 06/07/05 07:24 PM Re: Bald backs and BlueKote
Lacey Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 427
Loc: Pennsylvania
Stickdog, when a rooster mates with a hen he first steps on her back to get her down, this makes the back feather broken and damaged. Then he steps on the wings and of course breaks those feathers. I am pretty sure your problem is your rooster, not your other hens. Once they molt their feathers will grow back but you should keep the rooster away from them when they molt because he will break the new feathers that will come in. Some rosters (like mine) will over breed. He will mate with any hen that is within 5 feet of him. Some hens he mates with a half dozen or more times a day... Have you actually witness the hens pulling the feathers out? I would think there would be some sores if it were feather picking... I've had over bred hens and have a few right now (not as back as some use to be) and there were never and sores just really bare backs and elbows.

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#14742 - 06/10/05 10:25 AM Re: Bald backs and BlueKote
C. Newman Offline
Chicken

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 96
Loc: Virginia
My hens have a similar balding problem on their backs & wings so I've been putting Rudy (the rooster) in a separate pen during the day. When I get home from work I let them all out to free range in the back yard. Rudy has his way with most of them then. I'm just hoping it will help to keep him away from the girls for most of the day.

I have been waiting for signs that the girls feathers are growing back not realizing that they'll have to moult first. So that's good to know.

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#14743 - 06/10/05 10:28 AM Re: Bald backs and BlueKote
C. Newman Offline
Chicken

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 96
Loc: Virginia
Forgot to mention I've used BlueKote in the past. I sprayed it on the birds at night. Didn't seem to do much except stain my barn coat purple. It's very messy stuff.

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