I am starting to keep chickens for the first time in many years. They are our pets and will be a source of eggs. I received a young rooster a couple of weeks ago that I want to add to my small flock of hens. I've kept him in quarantine to make sure he isn't introducing a disease into the flock. He's active, alert, bright eyed, and eats well. His droppings are normal. He's even starting to try to crow. The hens and rooster are RIRs. My concern is that he has scratched the back of his neck and his head areas so much that most of the feathers are gone. There are what appear to be pin feathers in those areas. He also pecks at various areas of his body, but few feathers are missing there. In fact, his tail feathers seem to be growing longer. His comb and wattles don't look pale. About a week ago I closely examined him - neck, body, vent - and saw no sign of external parasites. Nevertheless, I sprayed him with a solution of Permethrin in case I missed something with my unpracticed eye. However, the scratching continues. At his previous home he was allowed to free-range each day, and was kept in a small coop at night with three other roosters. The owner had no hens at the time. I am keeping him in a 5 ft. x 5 ft. cage on my back porch in which he has a dust bath, grit, a continuous supply of food and fresh water. He is far away from the hens, and has no awareness of them. I stop by and talk to him off and on throughout the day to help break the boredom from being alone. We have two dogs that frequently pass by the cage, but they only show a mild interest in him, and do nothing to frighten him. The previous owner said that the other roosters are not losing feathers as is my rooster. From what I have read, I'm wondering if it is simply stress that is causing this behavior. I'm really interested in advice from those of you that might have had similar experiences.