14 month old hens with no front neck feathers

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8 Years
May 29, 2011
Kansas City, Kansas
Hello all! I am brand spankin new here and have tons of questions, but the most concerning right now is this: I purchased 10, 14 month old Production Reds a week ago. They all looked great, had all of their feathers, and seemed happy and healthy. Today I noticed that all of them are missing their feathers on the front of their necks. Just above the breast area. The empty spots are about an inch wide strip. They are eating great--laying hens crumbles, fresh fruits and veggies, and they adore plain yogurt with reice crispies in it. There are quite a few feathers laying around, but I have not caught if they are doing it themselves or to each other yet. I use food grade DE in the coop and run area, especially this week as they have not had a dry day until today and their area just stayed wet and miserable. The coop stays dry though. I appreciate any help you all can give me. Thanks a bunch!
They maybe coming into their molting season. A period of time when laying of eggs slows or ceases within the flock and they loose and replace many feathers. Often a higher protein diet is reccommended during this time and a week following until all hens are laying once again.
Is there any possibility that they are rubbing on the front of a feeder?

I have a feeder that I hang on the wire mesh of the run. The feeder is made of hard plastic and I noticed one day that I had hung it wrongly...and I think my prize hen was rubbing off some front feathers as she reached in to get food.

Maybe that is another alternative to investigate.

good luck
Hey all! Thanks for the input! I managed to pick up a few hens as they are finally getting used to me and more pliant when I am around them. It is not just at the neck like it looked, but all over their body. There are what look like black and some white quills sticking out in all of the bare patches on the neck, back, near the tail, and abdomen. It looks like feathers are trying to poke out of the quills. My birds really are beginning to look rough. They are picking the feathers out themselves. I sat and hung with them for a couple of hours today while hubby made some changes in ventilation to their coop and they were all picking at their own feathers. I am new and had just assumed that they molted in the fall to get ready for winter...lol Does this sound like molting to anyone? They seem fine otherwise and are eating me out of layer feed and scraps like crazy. Thanks again for all of your help!

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