Unsure if my hens are molting or being plucked

Silvester

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 10, 2012
72
10
99
Milton, PA
Two of my three hens are losing feathers on their backs, just in front of the tail - they are the same breed and the third is a different breed.

I'm not sure if they are molting, plucking themselves or if the roosters are being too aggressive.

One is my bare than the other, but they are both noticeably short on feathers in the same area.
 
Featherloss on the back is a rooster problem.

Here's some photos of hens that have been overmated and lost feathers on their back.





By comparison, here's a photo of my hen Winnie during a molt. It's by far the least attractive photo I have of her.
 

Here's another photo of rooster damage. Although I've used a saddle off and on to protect her back, I can't do much for the back of her head. The only thing left to do would be to isolate her completely from the rooster responsible, but their bond is so strong that it causes an unnecessary amount of stress on her.
 
Crap, I have three roosters and four male ducks...

I wonder why only two of my three hens are having this problem...



Will the feathers grow back?
 
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The feathers will grow back eventually, but it could take several months. I'd strongly recommend getting more hens--it's recommended in most cases to have about 10 hens to each rooster, and a 1:1 ratio rarely works out very well. The hen who isn't as plucked as the others probably gives more attitude with the roosters try to mate with her, so they focus on the other two. That's the way it works in my flock, anyway.

At one point I had something like 15 hens to one rooster, and I still ended up with a few plucked hens. Sometimes a rooster just has his sweethearts.
 
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