I have a flock of 8 hens. 4 Australorps (2.5 yrs old) and one each of Light Sussex, Barred plymouth Rock, Speckled sussex and unknown ginger hen (all 1 yr old). No rooster. Three of the young ones were hatched and raised by one of the Australorps last year. I have two problems: 1. None of them seem to be going broody this year, which is a shame because I'm hoping to hatch a few more. It's the middle of spring here, and this time last year the Australorps were all crazy broody. 2.They have all lost feathers around their necks/faces in places they couldn't reach themselves. the feathers are broken off and there are bald patches on some chooks. A couple of them have bald patches on their bums too. They don't look nearly as sleek and healthy as they used to, but they are eating and laying fine. It's not the right time of year for moulting. I've dosed them with a medicine in their water which is supposed to get rid of various parasites and diseases, though that was only two weeks ago so maybe they wouldn't look any better yet. It's not red chicken mites as they've had those before and I know what to look for. They eat layer pellets with corn, sunflower, wheat and a few other things, plus greens every day and scraps. They have plenty of space in their run and sometimes get put into other parts of the garden to forage. Does this sound like a parasite, and if it is, would this be affecting their broodiness?