First things first, the hens in question are about 13 months old and both Rhode Island reds. We live in Minnesota and they've been laying through the winter. About a week ago we found a lot of blood in the coop, but no visible injuries on either chicken. They both have white crud on their butt feathers, but it's not goopy, more like dried poop than anything which they didn't have in the warmer months. Now one chicken is losing a lot of her tail feathers, the other one seems fine. She doesn't have any skin showing, so we haven't tried any of the things to stop picking. They also both stopped laying, which, alone wouldn't be cause for concern, but with everything else this chicken momma is worried!
We have been feeding yogurt with applesauce and mealworms just in case of vent gleet, but the feathers aren't goopy or glued down, and with the weather we don't want to cut their feathers or bathe them (we have two big dogs and not a lot of space inside, don't want them to get stressed inside and wet).
Could they be molting? We were under the impression that they were still too young for that.
Anything else we should be trying?