Bald Spot on Backyard Chicken

August 6, 2011
Oyster Cracker has a bald spot on the back of her head behind her comb.  I believe Chocolate gave it to her.  As she submitted to his interests, he used to grab her with his beak on the back of the head repetitively.  As, you know, we rehomed Chocolate a few months ago, and still, no feathers have grown back.  Is is possible that they will grow back once she molts this Fall?  She is right next to Tilly on the pecking order, so I do not believe other chickens are responsible for this, especially because no one else in the flock has this bald spot.  A friend suggested putting some Blu Kote on it and seeing if anything returns. Is it be possible that her feathers will never return?  Poor girl.  What should this Chicken Mom do?
Well, it proves to be nothing permanent. This poor girls’ bald spot is simply due to the fact that the tips of the feathers are still in her skin. Her body believes there is still a feather attached. This bald spot will go away once she molts and makes new feathers. Those tips will fall out and be replaced with new feathers. Now we know!
Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest


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14 thoughts on “Bald Spot on Backyard Chicken”

  1. Awe, poor thing. Although, with this heat, she probably appreciates the little spot to vent off some of that warm air they trap under their down.

    I'll bet they grow back after she molts.

  2. Most likely the feathers were broke off leaving the tiny shaft just below the skin. If they were pulled out completely they would grow back in a few weeks, but a broke feather is a different story. The feather will not grow back until she molts and the remaining feather shaft is expelled.


  3. THANK YOU Matt! This makes perfect sense. I am so glad that you left me this comment. Given my medical background, I love understanding the science behind things.

  4. Oyster Cracker will most definitely grow new feathers in after she molts, Matt is completely right. She probably already has her new feathers by now, since it's been over 7 months since the last post! Our chickens have gone through this a number of times, and they always get new feathers in to replace various bald spots after they molt.
    By the way, your Oyster Cracker looks exactly like our Sweet Pea! What kind of chicken is she? Someone told us Sweet Pea was a Leghorn, but I think she looks more like a Buff Orpington. She is a very large hen. I would post a picture of her, but I'm not sure how to do it.

  5. Thank you Matt!!
    I know this is an old post, but I just noticed a bald spot like this on one of my hens and I thought I would never found the answer until I stumbled upon Matt's comment here. Make sense!
    Thanks again

  6. Thanks from 2015, Matt. I have a three month old australorp that has had a nickel-sized naked patch on her head since she was two weeks old. Thank you for a logical reason that Baldwin (I kept calling her Bald One so Baldwin fit well as a name) has it. A mounting roo and mites just didn't work as an explanation. Ten chicks in the brooder tumbling all over each other breaking feathers… Who'd have thought? 🙂

  7. My hen has a bald spot on her head, should I put something on it for winter? We have no roosters and we have had her just a few months. Not sure what caused it, the stress of a new home or something else.

    • Hello, my guess would be that someone is pecking the back of her head. The back of the head is a common place where chickens peck when asserting the pecking order. The thing is, that there may be tips of feathers still remaining in her skin, so her body thinks there are feathers still attached. After her next molt they should return and by then her place in the pecking order is established.


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