Ruby the chicken is feeling fine

March 24, 2009 | By | Comments (3)

What are you looking at? I hope it’s not the lack of rear feathers of our own Ruby, which I wrote about last week.


Because, seriously, Ruby’s feeling fine. And I was heartened by the commenters who piped up on the issue. The consensus seems to be this: If she’s acting fine, she’s probably fine. A bald behind just happens to some chickens.

Still, it’s not polite to stare.

by Elizabeth Jardina, Sunset researcher. Photo by E. Spencer Toy.


  1. Linda Jennings

    Loved your article and glad to see Sunset dealing with ideas like this. Here in Old Town Tustin there are lots of families with chickens. We have a very bossy Rhode Island Red, an Aracauna and 2 Buff Orpintons, better known as the blondes.
    My question-the blondes go into their brooding stage a couple of times a year. Since it’s almost impossible to isolate them, we have to shut everyone out of the hen house and into the yard to break the brooding. Any other ideas?

    April 10, 2009 at 6:32 pm
  2. Carol in Chino

    I have 8 chickens – 4 white leghorns , 2 Rhode Island Reds and 2 Aracaunas. Two of the leghorns are losing their bum feathers and one is completely naked from the waist down! Everyone I ask about his has a different reason why this is happening: relax, they’re just molting, or they have mites, or the others are cannibalizing their feathers for blood (the leghorns have been separated from the brown ones for months now in case this was happening), or they need more oyster shell, or they need toys to play with in their pen. My chickens do not seem to pick at each other, they get plenty of oyster shell, things to peck at, fresh organic vegetables and fruit, scratch, Organic pellets, and way more than enough room in their chicken run. I visit with them every day and they know me very well. I have powdered & sprayed their coop (twice now after removing all the old wood chips), and have even rounded up my 2 sons to capture them so I could spray them with organic mite spray. They look the same except their bums aren’t quite so red now. Other than that, no big change. I think I just have a few chickens who are very comfortable showing off their bums, in case a rooster ever hops the fence!

    April 3, 2009 at 3:02 am
  3. Jessica

    Yay Ruby! We just got 6 chickens this past weekend after reading about the Sunset flock in this month’s issue (photos are on our blog of our precious chicks). We’ve already fallen in love & will keep checking in for more chicken info on your blog!

    April 1, 2009 at 6:01 am

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