We've just arrived home from a 9 day vacation. It is the 1st time we've left our two pet pullets. The one that has muffs and a beard no longer has them! Her bare white skin is exposed on her cheeks and neck. I'm pretty sure she's not molting because she isn't missing any other feathers, there are no feathers in the coop/run, and she just went through a light molt in October. My best guess is that her sister plucked them from the stress of us being gone. I do know chickens will pluck other's feathers when they aren't getting enough protein, however that has never happened w/ mine. I just don't think that is the case because while we were gone the only thing they were given to eat was their layer pellets, flock block, and a tiny handful of cracked corn each day. They both layed eggs 8 out of the 9 days. Our sitter did say that a few days he gave two tiny handfuls of cracked corn when the temp was in the single digits. It doesn't seem to me that would be enough to make her pluck feathers for protein though. The only other two things that were different while we were gone was that I noticed he didn't give them near enough grit. Also he used his well tap water for their outdoor waterer which is different from what they are used to. The water I give them is the proper PH for chickens and I put vitamins in it. However their inside water was their normal water because I filled it all the way before I left so he never had to refill it. Do you think one of these things were the cause or could there be another reason how/why this happened that I'm not aware of?