I am having a problem with 8 RIR hens and a rooster I was given. He has all the feathers slid off the hens backs, due to overmating. No skin tears, just no feathers! I took out the rooster so they could grow some feathers for winter. They don't seem to be growing any, and I have now seen one of the hens pecking the back of another. I now think that when a pin feather grows in, they are picking it out and eating it. An old local farmer (like me, unfortunately, on the old part. LOL) said to put some salt in their water, as they apparently were needing some mineral, or they wouldn't be picking pinfeathers. Anyone know anything about this--if it is true?