Missing feathers


Feb 6, 2015
Hi all, I hope you can help me. We just bought a house and it came with 7 hens. As a first-time chicken owner, I'm slowly starting to get the hang of things. I've noticed that 3 of my hens have feathers missing on their backs at the base of their tails and one of those has feathers missing below her tail as well, a pretty large bald spot. I'll note that these 3 seem to be towards the bottom of the pecking order. The problem is, I never see any of the other hens picking on them. How am I supposed to figure out who is responsible for doing this and what can I do about it? Thanks in advance.
Hmmm....it could be that they are molting, or it could be that they have mites. Get them some diatomaceous earth to dust themselves in, which will take care of the mites. Give them a healthy diet with plenty of fresh food to help them grow their feathers back. Watch as often as you can to see if the problem is behavioral. If it is, you should separate the ones with the missing feathers from the ones that are picking on them. If they continue to peck, they'll cause open wounds and that could cause the whole situation to go downhill very quickly. Last, be sure you have enough room for all the chickens. If they are stressed from overcrowding, they will pick on each other. At a minimum, they need 4 square feet per hen, and more than that is even better. Good luck with your chickens!
If they're not laying, then it could be they're molting. I would do the DE like WindyHillFarm suggested, because DE also helps with worms, so its good anyway. If you see blood on the skin, that's something to worry about because the others will keep pecking on it.
Hope you figure it out. =)

and Welcome to BYC! =)
Yeah are they laying of not I would say there molting but if there laying and more than one has bald spots than it's probably mites
Thanks for all the replies. They are all laying (I think). Here are some pictures. The black and white speckled has it the worst and for a while it was only her. The brown one and white one seem to be just missing a few of their top feathers.



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