I have a friend who runs a local food co-operative here in town. She came to me last night with an interesting question... She went to do a home check on some possible egg suppliers just outside of town. She said they seemed nice but there was something that was troubling her about the hens. She said they all looked completely bald on their backs and and totally ragged. I told her it was probably just roosters but she said the unusual thing was that the roosters were penned seperately from the hens and that the balding didnt look like molt. Her worry is that the feather loss is the result of some "disease" that could affect the eggs they sell at her location. Now I honestly told her that I did not think that chickens lose their feathers like that when they are sick and that the feather loss had to be the roosters. I also said that in a majority of cases an ill bird will not lay, and that if his girls are laying veryday then they must be healthy. She is still worried so i thought i would come on here and get some facts from the experts. Is there ANYTHING out there that could result in featherloss that effects what is in the eggs? I really dont think so but she is also worried about putting pictures of these birds on their website because she said they just looked THAT BAD. I told her it could be mites and she got a worried look. (but i did explain that mites just affect the appearance of the feathers and not the birds general health). I think mostly she just wants to ensure that if she puts some ragged looking birds on her website the general public isnt going to look at them and think they are diseased (because we all know how little the general public knows about our birds!) THOUGHTS?