Chickens Health Issues Stories from Our Nest

Bald Spot on Backyard Chicken

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?
Update:
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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  • Maybe you could make her a little chicken toupe 🙂

  • 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.

  • Thank you for the laugh rugosarosefarm! I can only picture her wearing it now! Too cute.

    I hope you are right Flock Mistress. I guess time will tell…

  • 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.

    ~~Matt~~

  • 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.

  • Poor Oyster Cracker. I thought you said Chocolate was a good roo.

  • Qing, Chocolate was a wonderful rooster. Pulling feathers on the back of the head, is just part of normal rooster behavior 😮

  • Cam

    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.

    • Thanks Cam! Yes, they all did grow back in. I am so happy about that. Oyster Cracker and Sunshine are both Buff Orpingtons.

  • Jen

    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

  • Anonymous

    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? 🙂

  • Greetings.. I have a Silkie named Lucy who has half her top head bare from my roo… Hmmm…. even tho she wears an apron there is still hope for her head??