I'll try to keep this brief. My two Easter Eggers lost all their beard feathers, the first one about a month ago and the second about two weeks ago. I checked for mites and found nothing. They haven't lost any more feathers and seem healthy otherwise. I suspected feather picking for several reasons (stress due to a new hen in the flock, winter boredom, lower protein feed and I caught one pecking feathers from the first EE). I took steps to address it (higher protein feed, flock block, new run features). Yesterday I noticed one of the others (a Cuckoo Marans) has lost feathers on her head. She seems fine otherwise, but does have a pale comb. I checked last night for mites and didn't see any (haven't been able to catch her to check her over). I did see the other Cuckoo Marans (the original feather picker) pecking a few times at her head. I should mention I don't suspect molting because this is their first winter. (They are 9 months old) So, my questions are: should I treat for mites anyway? I figured if I had mites there would be evidence on the EE beards. Or should I chalk it up to feather picking? I don't want to cull the accused since she's a good layer and has a companion in the flock (her victim). Or could this be overzealous grooming? Thanks for your help! Below: the accused feather picker on left and her victim on the right. (Note: she was born with the bald spot) Ranger, the first EE to lose her beard.