Lost feathers on back

barnsworth

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2016
5
0
10
Hello all. I have this hen that has lost her feathers on her back. She's been this way for about a month now I'd say, maybe a little longer. I thought maybe she was molting at first but that doesn't seem the case.

She seems in good health, she eats, acts fine and is still laying. She doesn't seem to have lost any weight either. Also none of the other hens in the flock have had any problems. I was thinking maybe some sort of parasite but I would think the other girls would show the same symptoms too.

If anyone could give me a little advice I'd sure appreciate it. Pretty new to owning chickens and haven't come across this before.

Thanks!

chicken.jpg
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,528
79,417
1,462
Wisconsin
Hmm, I would assume someone is either pulling them out or is acting like a rooster and mounting the rest of the hens.

How big of a set up do you have? What are they eating? What do they do all day?
 

barnsworth

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2016
5
0
10
Well I have 11 hens. The coop is 10'x6' with a 16'x6' run. They eat regular layer mash which they have been on for the last 9 months or so that I've had them. They get veggies a couple times a week, lettuce, celery and the such.

I've been paying rather close attention to them and how they are acting towards the girl in question and I haven't seen another hen mess with her. They all get along really well. A little bickering on occasion but nothing that lasts longer than a second or two.
 

tacoma2

Chirping
8 Years
Sep 2, 2011
8
1
62
Four out of the six hens I have also have feathers missing on their backs and it seems to me that it is a dryness issue where the feathers have broken off.
Hopefully they will grow back after molting.
 

2toby

Hatching
Jun 5, 2017
1
0
6
Four out of the six hens I have also have feathers missing on their backs and it seems to me that it is a dryness issue where the feathers have broken off.
Hopefully they will grow back after molting.

I'm having the same problem with of mine also. I thought it was molting at first also but the spot has gotten a little bigger. She seems fine and healthy and eats and no other bird seems to be bothering her.
I hope someone has an answer. Thanks
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,756
556
Consett Co.Durham. UK
Hi

I too would have said mating damage or feather picking. How old is she? It could be an early moult, since you say she has been on layer feed for 9 months.... I'm guessing that would make her 13-14 months old now. Moulting often lasts for several months. Is she still laying?
Have you checked her for lice and check the coop for mites. Do they have access to a dust bath area?
 

barnsworth

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2016
5
0
10
Yes she is still laying and seems fine in every other way.

They don't have a dust bath area per si, they get under the coop (it's on legs or stilts) and kick around and dust themselves that way.

As far as checking for notes or lice I don't really know what I'm looking for and also if that was the case wouldn't the other hens have the same condition?

As far as age I think (got these hens last summer) that this is probably maybe her third summer so she could be at least two years old.
 

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