cold weather, feather problems, decreased egg laying


9 Years
Dec 8, 2010
Hello all!

I live in a cold climate with lots of snow (Alaska!) and have 6 laying hens that are about 2 years old. They have access to the coop or the yard during the day, at night the coop has a heating lamp. There is a sheltered area in their yard that doesn't get snow and they spend most of the day outside in this sheltered spot. They have unlimited access to pellets and water and are often supplemented with cracked corn and kitchen scraps.

During the summer they all lost feathers on their lower backs, just above the tail feathers. Since it was summer, I wasn't worried, I assumed the feathers would grow in before winter. However, they have not! There are minimal signs of new feather growth and the skin is red to pale pink where the feathers are missing. Now recently, I an noticing more feather loss on some of the hens around the neck and on their behinds. Also, their egg laying has drastically reduced since the summer and is also much lower than it was last winter.

So, my questions for everyone....

Why are the feathers not growing back?
Do they need more food, heat, something to encourage egg laying and feather growth?

I want to take good care of my chickens and am worried I am not doing something right...

Any advise is much appreciated! Thanks!!
so have you checked for mites or white sox, as they are know up here. i live in anchorage. it does not say wether you have a rooster or not. at two years of age you would have seen a molt. check for other skin infestestations with your local vet. may be agressive rooster trying his luck at becoming crock pot chicken and noodles

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