Very Bald Chicken

by Linda


Very Bald Chicken: I have 14 chickens. They are all really healthy except for one. She is bald underneath, not much of a tail and the feathers that are there are very thin.

Her comb is very small and there are hardly any feathers on her neck. She eats and drinks well, and there is no sign of her being picked on.

She tends to sleep a lot. She has been like this for approximately 6 months. I know that this is definitely not the molt. Can you tell me what is wrong with her?

Answer: You didn’t say the ages of these chickens. Is it possible this is an older bird?

If she is not being picked on by others and not producing good feathers with standard feed you may need to increase her protein intake.

There is a possibility of tiny mites that are irritating her skin at the base of feathers causing her to over groom and pull feathers to relieve itching.

There are parasite dusts for birds and living quarters that may help, if this is the problem. For some reason she is the weakest of your chickens and needs the help you are trying to give.

If there is some kind of mite present it would be a good idea to thoroughly clean and treat the coop and nests.

Often mites will hatch and lurk in wooden surfaces waiting to find a good host.

An older bird or one weakened, may be less able to fight off internal and external parasites. A good deworming for her and the rest of the flock might be a good idea, to cover all bases.

If you live in a cold climate you may need to give her a heat source to help her recover until she can grow her feathers back.

Just the loss of a few degrees body temperature can leave her immune system weak and unable to fight off disease.

Sitting around sleeping a lot is definitely a sign of a sick bird. It’s probably best to separate her from the rest of the flock until better.

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Bald Chook also
by: Anonymous

Ok, so I also have a bald chook accept, she is not being picked on and shes bald on the top of her head so she cant be picking out her feathers because she cant reach the top of her head. She is rather old, a few years. she looks skinnier and has less tail feathers than the other chooks. What's wrong with her?

Bald Chook
by: Sharon Keithly

You didn’t say if you have a rooster. Some roosters are a bit over zealous when it comes to breeding and will pull out neck or head feathers of their hens.

If you don’t have a rooster, she may just be the lowest in rank in your flock and get picked on by others. Unfortunately this is normal with chickens, there is always one that is the lowest in rank.

She possibly submits to the roosters advances to breed more often than the other hens and looks the worse for wear.

Not knowing her breed, it’s hard to say if she is “old”. Some breeds can live 10 years or more, others only have 2 good years in them.

You could separate her and give her a good conditioning diet and see if the isolation allows her feathers to grow back. Once healthy and looking good she may feel more like standing up for herself in the flock.

But as I said, there is always the one that is lowest in rank and will tend to look shabby. Old age could be a factor.

Offering vitamins and other supplements to your chickens might be a good idea, too.

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