Severe feather loss, aggravated red skin, broken feathers (pics included)

Jamies-chickens

In the Brooder
Sep 1, 2021
2
17
24
Lakewood, Colorado
One of my Blackstar hens has been loosing a lot of feathers for months on end. She is a year and half old, same age as 4 of my other chickens who aren't experiencing the same feather loss—at least, not at this extreme level. At first I thought it was molting, but it has now gone on for more than 5 months, getting worse and worse, and no new feathers appear to be growing in. She has huge bald spots on her breast (with aggravated red skin), and also under her wings (not aggravated under wings) and thinning around the rump area. Vent looks clean and not aggravated at all. She is laying 1 egg/day and drinking water and eating and foraging in the backyard with all the other hens. I can't find mites on her (although, I've never seen mites, so this could be just ignorance). I had a thought that it might be because she is becoming broody and plucking her own feathers, but I can't be sure. She is at the top of the pecking order, so I don't think she is getting picked on (she likes to do the picking and pecking on others and can actually be quite mean to the chickens on the lower end of the pecking order). Many of her feathers look broken too, almost like they are snapped off. Some of the other chickens in my flock have bald areas under their wings too, but none of the other ones have bald breast areas and none of the others have red agitated skin. I am looking for any advice, I've scoured the internet (and Backyardchickens.com) and read everything I can find, but I am still am at a loss (current theory is broody hen). Its also very difficult to find a veterinarian that will see chickens around the Denver/Lakewood CO area and the 2 chicken vets I have found are only available 3 weeks from now. I have attached pictures. Thank you for your help! Jamie
 

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Animal-lover339

Songster
Oct 10, 2018
624
549
182
Puerto rico
Hello Jamie, love your hen she is adorable I as well think this is result as in brooding im
Not an expert but I’m a vet assist student i believe most chicken well certain chickens hens and cocks skin actually turns red here in Puerto Rico cock fighting Is a big sport and their legs are turned red but latley I have notified many roosters legs are red at least the ones I own I’m sure this is because of brooding and if you wnst to check for mites try the oil gland and on the neck mites love to hide there
 

BDutch

Naturally ❤️
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 19, 2015
3,532
12,074
717
the Netherlands
My Coop
My Coop
How much room do you’re chickens have if they are closed in? Can they free range in you’re backyard all day?

I do know that hens who get stressed often get health problems and start pecking other hens. And it sounds to me as if you have a stress problem. (But I’m no expert).

I do know it’s hard to brake habits. But nevertheless I would try to address the stress behaviour. The health issues may vanish with it.
 

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