Hello! Looking for some advice..... I have 7 chickens, 5 red sex-link, 2 barred rocks. Large coop, decent sized run (making it bigger in the spring.... It's not quite spring up here in Maine yet!!). Girls are kept clean, fed layer pellets, scratch, meal worms and kitchen veggie scraps regularly ...... Some oyster shell too.
Anyway, my two barred rocks have lost all the feathers on their under bellies. One of my sex links molted a few weeks ago from the neck down and this is very different. The only place they have NO feather is their bellies- the bottom/vent area is still feathered too. The skin is quite red on one of them, less so on the other. Some of their other feathers are very fluffy too. I don't think they are being picked on- they are the biggest chickens and dominate the other 5, in fact the one that is barest is my least friendly hen. I'm really puzzled as to what is causing it, but suspect they are doing it to themselves or each other- they roost next to one another. There are no feathers in the coop either which makes me think they are eating them. But WHY?
They seem happy, still laying, busying about the coop and run. Possibly bored? They have been cooped up a lot (winters are long here) and haven't free ranged much at all..... We have a LOT of land, but unfortunately the coop is close to our neighbors property and the hens like their shrubs and plants a little too much. Our neighbors don't feel the same, so we are trying to find a solution to keep them on our side of the property line!
I've included some pictures of the coop/run and bare bellied girls. Just so strange to me that it is both of my Barred Rocks.....
Any thoughts/advice much appreciated (oh- I've also looked and checked for mites etc but since it's just 2 of the hens I don't think so, and I've not seen anything at all suspicious)