Any idea what might be wrong with our sweet girl? We thought she was molting at first but she's been like this for months now. She's still laying, eating and drinking just fine. We have 8 other hens who are fine.
Now that I see better, they are eating away at her feathers, you could get little things to put on their beaks (I don't remember what they are called), it makes them so that they can't see directly in front of them so that they can't eat each other's feathers. Don't worry, they can still see food and water!
How much space do your birds have? Feather picking can be caused by overcrowding. Even if they free range during the day, if the night quarters are too tight it can happen on the roosts. It also can be caused by not enough protein in the diet. You can switch to a higher protein feed like a feather fixer or a flock grower to see if it improves. Just make sure you are offering oyster shell free choice all the time as the non-layer feeds do not have enough calcium for laying hens. Too many treats can also reduce the protein total in their diet. It can take a long time for the feathers to come back, sometimes not until the next molt. Also keep your eyes out for a bully that may be the cause. If she's low on the pecking order that may be the issue.
In this picture, her feathering looks too young to be laying. How old is she now and how old was she when you first noticed this?
My first inclination is to get poultry dust and use it on her. It looks like either she or someone else is picking at the tail area.
Second, is to get blu-kote, or a similiar product and spray the red/pink areas (this will stain so use precautions to protect your clothes, hands, etc)
If you don't want to use Blu-kote (some discussion here in the past about the gentian violet,where the color comes from, use on food animals), here is a link to a natural homemade version: http://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2013/10/diy-anti-pick-antibacterial-blu-kote.html
I second the Blue Kote t can be bought at amazo.
Blue Kote will discourage the hens from picking at her.
Chickens love something to do and as stated, is the hen house big enough for the amount of chickens inhabiting it?
All of your birds need some help here, the whole flock need some WET MASH PROBIOTIC RECIPE..
Here is my recipe and it does work. the picked hen has some E-Colie wrong with her system and gut. In order to grow back her feathers.
WET MASH PROBIOTIC RECIPE
natural probiotic recipe is this:
THIS IS FOR ONE CHICKEN
IF FEEDING MORE CHICKENS MULTIPLY THE RECIPE TIMES AMT OF CHICKENS TREATED.
3 tbsp of dry crumbles
1 tsp of dry flax seed meal (kind for humns).
4 tbsp of milk, sweet, sour, or buttermilk or a mixture of all or some
1 tbsp of yoguart of non flavored yoguart ( no artificial sweetmer)
AFTER PUTTING VIT'S IN 1-1000 mg of Vit E( cut end of capsule and squeeze into wet mash)
1 Vit B Complex tablet crushed, 1 Selenium tablet crushed, put in wet mash.
PUT 1 TBSP OF APPLE SAUCE on op of THE WET MASH PROBIOTIC.
NOW THE IMPORTANT INGRIEDIENT FOR EACH CHICKen FED
for each chicken use 3 tbsp of mixture and 1-1000 mg of Vit E(cu end off casle and pou into wet ash)
,Vit B complex crushed, 1 Selenium tablet crushed
and feed each chicken
3 tBsp full of the wet mash probiotic and what they will clean up in 20-30 minutes
then clean wet feeders and restock dry crumbles
do this twice a day for a week
then quit the Vit E, Vit B complex, and Selenium, make just the wet mash probiotic
then once a week for life
All the while after medicating the birds use ACV unpasturzed kind. Braggs or Heinz ACV.
do not use ACV with medication
2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar per gallon of the chicken water so their gut flora wil be regulated
they should have this at least 3-5 days a week
then three days a week after they are over the sickness.
the vit's are necessary to clean up the damaged gut problem
ALSO AFTER THE MEDICATION IS DONE FEED THIS AGAIN as time listed