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    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMay 12th, 2016 9:23pm (May 12th 2016)
     
    Butter has gone quite bald on his chest. All the others are all right so I can't think what it is. Do they pluck their feathers out? It looks a bit pink but I can't see any wee beasties on him.
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeMay 13th, 2016 11:02am (May 13th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I was just typing "is he broody?" - then realised how stupid a question that was haha!

    I know hens sometimes pluck their feathers to line the nest with when they go broody, but I'm not sure why a cockerel would.

    If it's not mites, my next thought would be moulting, except it's not the right time and they don't go that bald do they? Just a bit scrawny as the new feathers grow through.

    Could he be getting picked on? Seems a weird place to be pecked but you never know. I've heard roosters can let their girls get away with murder so maybe he's letting one peck at him?

    Did you check around his bum for mites/lice? I think they're sometimes easier to spot there - also check his wattles, I've seen lice hiding in the folds (ugh) sometimes.

    Are they kept in with wire netting? Could he be rubbing along the netting? I've seen Renee do it a bit if she sees something she wants outside the coop, but thankfully it hasn't damaged her feathers. I've just put weedkiller on the lawn so unfortunately I can't let the girls out for a few months - they're not impressed as they really love their time scragging the lawn and garden on a sunny evening!

    Not much help, sorry.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMay 13th, 2016 6:17pm (May 13th 2016)
     
    No, they just rattle around loose in the day and he's the only one with the problem. I might bathe his chest with salt water tonight to see if that helps at all although it doesn't look inflamed now.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMay 14th, 2016 4:24pm (May 14th 2016)
     
    Is he eating the feathers CC if he is feed him a bit of cat food as he might need some protien
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeMay 14th, 2016 5:08pm (May 14th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    That's true, if they know they are deficient they will eat weird stuff to make up for it - but that wouldn't explain why it was just one.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMay 14th, 2016 6:16pm (May 14th 2016)
     
    They get catfood every morning but I think Nugget hoovers up all the little bits I put out. She's a pig. I might get him on his own and make sure he gets some.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMay 15th, 2016 2:08pm (May 15th 2016)
     
    I always give Chewy any left over cat food in the morning. If Sootz eats every last bit I have to give her. a little from a fresh packet else she calls and calls me thinking I have forgotten !!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMay 15th, 2016 2:33pm (May 15th 2016)
     
    Ha! I thought I was the only sucker who opened catfood for chickens!
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeMay 16th, 2016 12:34pm (May 16th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Sunflower hearts are supposed to be good for growing feathers - in moderation I guess.

    I'm not sure about cat-food - I suppose it depends on the ingredients - it's probably got lots of protein. Home Bargains mealworms (99p for 100g) are the cheapest way we get protein into ours...

    Mind you, we need to keep in mind they should eat lots of greens as well as layer's pellets (suppose that's not as important for Butter!) - too many treats can be a bit like giving kids McDonalds...
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMay 16th, 2016 7:33pm (May 16th 2016)
     
    They have a few sunflower hearts every day and today they had M&S *whispers* chicken. They also eat leftover greens from the rabbits' cage every morning and when I get dandelions for the rabbits the poor things get mugged by chickens. I open up the henhouse and rabbit hutch every morning and the rabbits make a beeline to have a wee in the henhouse (no idea why - just means we have to clean out the chickens more than the rabbits) and the chickens make a beeline to see what the rabbits have left of their previous night's supper. It's a madhouse. But then you knew that!
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeMay 17th, 2016 9:46pm (May 17th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Haha yes! There's no way their diet is deficient they're living the life of riley!

    Does Butter have spines showing he's re-growing or is he still shiny bald?
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeMay 18th, 2016 4:30pm (May 18th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I forgot to say - they can moult at stupid times as it looks like Mrs Pilkington is moulting now! She's left a lot of black feathers around the coop and has new feathers growing on her head... bizarre.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMay 19th, 2016 6:18pm (May 19th 2016)
     
    It looks quite red and inflamed. Do you think a warm salty bath might help?
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeMay 20th, 2016 11:13am (May 20th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Red and inflamed would suggest it's been pecked (although I suppose the hens might be drawn to it now).

    Salty bath would certainly not do any harm - you might need to put something on to stop the others pecking at it though? I used 'pine tar spray' which stinks, but you can get stuff like Blu-Kote wound spray too which should discourage pecking.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMay 20th, 2016 10:09pm (May 20th 2016)
     
    Thinking about it, he and Fish were fighting and Butter was on the losing side for the first time. So it might have been stress from that. Peace is reigning again now, thank heaven, and Fish is back at the bottom of the pecking order following his brief moment of glory.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd, 2016 9:41am (May 22nd 2016)
     
    yes that sure sounds like it could have been the cause. Plus they do kick up at each other when they fight so it could have been the claws from Fish thats irritated it to begin with, Good idea of Neil's about the pine tar spray and well worth a try xx
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd, 2016 1:39pm (May 22nd 2016)
     
    Do I get it on eBay or Amazon or is it a specialist thing?
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd, 2016 10:08am (May 23rd 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I got mine from a tack shop (not a tacky shop!) - it's meant for disinfecting/protecting horses hooves so if you have any local equestrian shops nearby...

    Don't use too much though it really does stink, and if he can preen it off you'd need to double-check it wasn't toxic (they do sell it for chickens so it shouldn't be, but just to be sure).

    The person in the shop I got it from was aware others had bought it for hens, so it should be ok.

    I bought this type: http://amzn.to/1s4gFF1 - I'm pretty sure it wasn't that much in the shop, but then I had to drive and pick it up :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd, 2016 6:12pm (May 23rd 2016)
     
    Thanks for that, Neil. I'll try the horsefeed place where we get corn and hay and so on; I don't really want to get it on Amazon as they'll bombard me with ads for horse stuff. (I get creepy films for my friend in Malta - Amazon won't send there - and consequently get sent lots of suggestions for films that would keep me awake for weeks!)