Bald patches on black Australorp

TwinChickens

Chirping
Feb 10, 2018
31
54
79
Western Australia
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A few weeks ago I noticed some bald patches around my chickens head and one on her neck, and I initially thought she might be going into her first moult (for context we are coming out of winter and she is almost 2 years old) however I don’t believe it is moulting as so far it has been a couple of weeks and no more feathers have come off, I can’t see any feathers around her cage, no new feathers are growing into the patches and it looked like maybe she had a sore on her head which I have included photos of. Could this be a moult or is it something else?
 

Wyorp Rock

Enabler
Sep 20, 2015
27,122
35,953
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Do you have a rooster?
If you don't, how many other hens is she housed with and how much space do you have?

The loss looks like either picking from other hens or it could be from mating. I do see a bit of lump there as well. I would keep watch on that, it could be from a hard peck.
 

TwinChickens

Chirping
Feb 10, 2018
31
54
79
Western Australia
We don’t have any roosters and because of bullying issues she is housed separately from our other chickens, they can still interact but there is a wire fence between them as she is lame and was almost killed when we first got her. She has free roam of about 20 metres square and we free range her for most of day as we don’t have any predators around and she does interact with wild birds particularly crows which land in our garden because We have a lot of native flowers and plant along with occasionally food on the ground, could they be bullying her?
 

Wyorp Rock

Enabler
Sep 20, 2015
27,122
35,953
1,182
Southern N.C. Mountains
I don't know if Crows would bully her or not...can the other chickens reach through the wire and pick at her?

I do see a little new growth coming in, could she have had that loss before you separated her out and now she is molting which makes the loss more pronounced?
 

TwinChickens

Chirping
Feb 10, 2018
31
54
79
Western Australia
The others can stick their head through the wire and she has a habit of dustbathing against the fence, so it is possible for it to have been them. She has been separated for a year, and I haven’t noticed it in that time, just in the last couple of weeks. My mother thought it was mites, any thoughts on that? Personally I think it is pecking, I’m just not sure where from seeing as she’s usually not in the same coop with any other chickens without there being a fence
 

Wyorp Rock

Enabler
Sep 20, 2015
27,122
35,953
1,182
Southern N.C. Mountains
The others can stick their head through the wire and she has a habit of dustbathing against the fence, so it is possible for it to have been them. She has been separated for a year, and I haven’t noticed it in that time, just in the last couple of weeks. My mother thought it was mites, any thoughts on that? Personally I think it is pecking, I’m just not sure where from seeing as she’s usually not in the same coop with any other chickens without there being a fence
It won't hurt to check her really well for lice and mites.
It's possible that if the others can reach her, then they are picking at her head. Sounds like she is trying to stay close to them. Do you have another docile hen that can stay with her that may be a buddy?
 

TwinChickens

Chirping
Feb 10, 2018
31
54
79
Western Australia
I have tried keeping her with all four of our other hens individually and all of them continuously bully her due to her being so much smaller and having a limp unfortunately. Thank you for all of your advice, I’m pretty new to chickens, and most issues tend to stump me
 
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