Molting or SOMETHING else- bare in Zero degrees


6 Years
Nov 4, 2017
Hi chicken friends,
Ive been away from the forum for a few months, because I got some goats. LOL

My baby chicks have all grown up and are starting to lay! yay!
My 6 original hens from last year started to molt in July (early right?).

One (my BO) lost only her tail feathers- all of them, and grew them all back in about 2-3 weeks.
Three others just got a little scruffy looking, one on the wings, the others all over - but just a bit-- and they were back to normal in 2-3 weeks also.

But one, she is a EE-- she lost a big patch of feathers in august from her back - about 3 inches x3 inches) all the feathers- completely bare there, and they have not grown back at all. In 3 whole months. We had frost last night and Im worried about the cold.

Is this a molt? or something else? Shall I put her in a broody buster cage (so she is by herself) and give her lots of scrambled eggs and yogurt? I think she is laying, as i see her on the nest at the right times, for the right length and i think i recognize her egg. She is acting totally normal. It looks a bit dry and scaly (the skin).
I will try and get a picture tomorrow.
But any ideas?
Will separating her make her feel punished? She is near the top of the pecking order.

I agree that it sounds like mating damage. Do you have a cockerel in the younger group? A 6 month old cockerel would be the prime candidate for this sort of father damage. You might want to buy or make her a chicken saddle. If you don't have a male in the flock, a photo of the hen would help and also of your set up... coop and run might shed light on the issue. How much space do they have?
Spending some time with your chickens through the day, observing them should also give you a clue as to what the cause is.
yes i have 2 roosters both under 6 months. one is the main rooster, Rusty. He doesn't let Freckles in the barn yard or coop, and to roost, Freckles needs to somehow sneak in and roost early, which he has figured out how to do no problem. Rusty isnt super horny like our last rooster who was always mating. Always. Rusty is a pretty good rooster.
Its not lice or mites, everyone else is good. I have separated her and two other hens and put them in the "bachelor pad" which is right next door and shares a roost(thru welded wire).
I am going to feed her extra scrambled eggs.

They have a ton of space. Coop is 12 x 15, run is 12 x 18, they can free range dawn til dusk, bachelor pad is 5x 15.

Anything else i can do?
If you have two cockerels (they are not roosters until they are a year old and whilst that does sound pedantic, there is a big difference in terms of behaviour) then it is almost certainly mating damage unless they are under 15 weeks and hormones have not yet kicked in. It may be happening when you are not there but it will almost certainly be happening, usually first thing in the morning, perhaps in the coop before you let them out or in the late afternoon.... those are the peak mating times. It is good that you have separated her with some friends although personally I would separate the cockerels and give the girls some peace.
I thought about separating the cockerels but I think it will be less stressful if i do it this way, because that would mean 2 cockerels in a small space and Rusty wouldnt let Freckles eat last time I had them both in the "bachelor pad".
yes, then it would be mating damage since i dont let them out of the barn til about 930 am. she is a favorite to mate, for sure.
What makes a hen a "favourite"???? Her style? Her personality? LOL ??? she has been a favourite of both my roosters --the one we got rid of in April, and this one who was born in April?? its a mystery....
What makes a hen a "favourite"???? Her style? Her personality? LOL ??? she has been a favourite of both my roosters --the one we got rid of in April, and this one who was born in April?? its a mystery....
Did you get your birds from Performance Poultry?

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom