I've been reading the forum to try and get a handle on my RIR's strange behavior. After reading what I've found I think she might be broody, but she is not a textbook case so I'm a little unsure. Here is the story: In late June/early July I noticed one of my 15 month old RIR's had a bare spot on her chest. It looked raw and red. After observing the hens for a few days, I determined she was doing it to herself. I used some of the Blu-Kote stuff and that seemed to help for a while. In the last month and a half it's gotten worse, to the point where she's picked a good size patch off her breast to the point that not only is it red and raw, she has a small scab from drawing blood. I know the self-plucking breast feathers alone isn't enough to say she's broody. But she also has been spending a lot time in her nesting box. She will go and free range for a while, but often I find her in the nesting box laying on the golf balls. She has stopped laying, too. Other possibilities I've considered: Lice/mites... but I've checked again and again and even dusted with DE just in case. Boredom/lack of nutrition... they are getting a standard layer feed (16%) freely fed, PLUS free range all day on almost 3 acres. The coop and run are huge. So I don't think this is the problem. Stress... we introduced a new group of youngin's this summer once they reached 10 weeks. I think she would have adjusted to them by now... they all hang out together and seem to get along fine. But maybe things are going as smoothly as I anticipated? Phew! Sorry this is so long. One final question. If she IS broody, I don't mind letting it run it's course, but how long should I expect it to last? It's been almost 3 months already! Thanks so much for any feedback Kelli Edited to add: for the first time ever, tonight when I went out there, she was sleeping in one of the nesting boxes!