2 hens losing feathers on back; one with a bald spot on neck?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 12, 2009
Hi everyone! I have two hens in the coop (out of 13) who have some areas right before their tails where their feathers are missing and it looks a little greyish...Sort of dusty. The skin is not bloody or crusty. One has a bald, small crusty spot on the back of her head where the BAD rooster would grab on to her, but I don't know if that's secondary to another skin condition.

I'm not sure if this is molt, or something else. I don't see any ticks or lice on visual inspection, and not sure if this is molt. Otherwise, everyone is healthy with plenty of water and food consumption, lots of egg laying, and everything else looks fine. I've tried searching on google and can't find anything definitive.

In any event, we've kept our flock organic and whatever it might be, want to try an organic fix first.

Any thoughts???
The greyish dusty appearance makes me suspect lice or mites. Some of them only get on the birds at night so you have to check with a flashlight. The spot on the neck could be mating or pecking or feather pulling. The latter two are usually caused by too little space or too little protein.

If you'll answer the questions in this thread, we might be able to help better:

Darn. Does sound like mites.

So, is this a good plan? I've read through the posts on this site, and would like to do the following:

pull out all bedding and burn
scrub out hen house and wipe down walls, corners, roosting polls with kerosene/oil solution
AIR OUT with chickens outside -- HOW LONG???
put down DE and poultry dust on cleaned floor
put down DE and poultry dust in their run
put in new bedding
dust chickens who show potential signs of mites

Repeat in a week ?

Thoughts? I also raise honey bees, and am concerned about whether using poultry dust in the chickens fenced area will be toxic for the bees. They are about 1/4 mile away, though.

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