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Chicken Feather Loss: Cause and Cure

Chicken Feather Loss Cause and Cure

It can be a frightening sight, walking out towards your chicken coop and seeing feathers scattered everywhere. My first thought is usually the worst. Has a predator broken into the coop and attacked my chickens? Luckily, I haven’t ever lost any of my chickens to a predator, and chicken feather loss is normally much less serious.

The most common reason for a chicken losing their feathers is the annual molt; however, this isn’t the only reason.

Let’s take a look at the most common reasons why chickens lose their feathers and our two favorite cures:

Chicken Feather Loss Cause and Cure

Chicken Feather Loss Due to Annual Molting

The first and most common reason why chickens lose their feathers is the ‘annual molt.’

A molt is when a chicken sheds its old feathers and replaces them with new feathers. Chickens molt during the end of the egg-laying season, in the fall.

This is normally closely linked to daylight hours. So, during the fall, when there is a drop in the number of daylight hours, you can expect your chickens to start their molt.

Chicken Moulting
Chicken’s Back Moulting © Thomas Kriese

You will notice when they start to molt, they lose feathers around their neck first. This will spread to their back and then move to their breast until finally, their tail feathers drop out.

The typical molt lasts around 6 weeks. However, older chickens molt much slower and can take them up to 10-12 weeks.

In addition to their feathers dropping out, you will also notice that their comb will lose some of its colors, and it won’t be a vibrant red any longer.

Finally, during a molt, you will notice that the number of eggs they lay will greatly reduce and most likely stop altogether.

This is because chickens need lots of protein to make eggs, but also, their feathers are 80% protein.

Your chicken can either molt or lay eggs, and it doesn’t have enough protein to do both at the same time.

Can You Stop Their Molt?

Chicken Feathers From Moult
Collecting feathers from my chickens’ molt

When people find out their chicken is molting, the first question they ask is, can you stop the molt? Well, not really. But you can help speed it up.

We mentioned above that when chickens molt, they require much protein to make their new feathers. So the first thing you can do is stop feeding them layers of pellets and give them food with a higher protein percentage.

I like to feed my chickens game bird feed during their molt because it is 20% protein- this is double the amount of protein in layers pellets.


Scratch and Peck Feeds – Naturally Free Organic Layer Feed

  • High in protein to help chickens’ grow back their feathers.
  • This feed is organic and non-GMO.
  • This is by far one of my hens’ favorite layers feed.

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In addition to changing their feed, you can also give them tonics. Personally, I don’t give them any tonics, but a commonly used tonic is apple cider vinegar.

You can mix this in with their water supply to give them a boost of minerals and vitamins.

One supplement we do give our chickens is ginger powder, and we’ve written about this extensively here.

You can mix ginger powder up with their game feed, and it helps boost their circulation and spread vitamins and nutrients throughout their body.


Bragg – Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Used to help boost your chickens’ immune system.
  • Easy to use, mix it into their water.
  • You can also use it to help treat mites.

Check Latest Price

Broody Chickens Can Cause Chicken Feather Loss

If only one of your chickens has lost their feathers, it could be that she is just broody. A broody hen wants to hatch their own chicks, and she will lay on top of its eggs all day long.

You will easily notice that she is broody because she won’t leave the nesting box and rarely eat.

Broody Chicken Buff Orpington
A Broody Buff Orpington

When they are broody, they tend to pluck their own breast feathers out, so their skin is directly connected with the eggs.

This isn’t healthy for your hen if it continues for a long time, so make sure you read how to stop a broody hen.

Pecking Order and Chicken Bullying Can Cause Chicken Feather Loss

Chickens can also lose their feathers when they are being bullied. If you’ve kept chickens for any length of time, you know that they often jostle and compete to move up the ‘pecking order.

The pecking order is the chickens ‘hierarchy of status,’ and chickens at the top control the rest of the flock. Whilst this jostling for pecking order is normally harmless, occasionally it can turn into bullying, and hens get singled out and targeted.

I’ve found the more aggressive breeds are genetical ‘closer’ to the original jungle fowl.

Establishing The Pecking Order
Establishing The Pecking Order

If a single hen is being targeted, its feathers will get plucked out, and its skin may also get broken. Broody hens often get targeted because they have plucked out their own breast feathers, and the other chickens will then peck at the red flesh.

This can be very dangerous because chickens are attracted to blood to peck the injured chicken even more. You can spread tree pruning sealer onto the cut to help protect the injured chicken.

The sealer will dry hard nearly straight away and will give the chicken time to recover. Also, the sealer is black, so the chickens won’t be anywhere near as keen to peck at it, and if they do, it will rub off on their beak, so you know which hens have been bullying.

You can then either isolate the culprits or use a blinder for a few days.

I always prefer to isolate the culprit instead. To do this, I place them in a separate smaller pan for a couple of days.

Interestingly, when the bully returns to the pen, they get knocked down a peg or two by the other girls because the bully is considered ‘new.’

You will notice when you add new chickens to your existing flock, there will also be some jostling for position in the pecking order, and as a result, some of your chickens will lose their feathers.

This should settle down in a few days if you introduce the chickens to each other properly.

If you find they are still pecking out each other’s feathers, you will need to separate the new and old chickens for a few days and then attempt to reintroduce them to each other.

The final reason chickens will bully each other is because there isn’t enough room in their coop or run.

Chickens need at least 3 square feet each inside the coop and 15 square feet each inside the run. If they have less than this, they will bully each other and peck out each other’s feathers.

Chicken Feather Loss Cause and Cure

Chicken Feather Loss Caused by Parasites and Disease

In addition to molting, the only other occasion when feather loss can be flock-wide is when your chickens have a disease or are infected with parasites.

Parasites can cause your hens to lose their feathers and also stop laying eggs.

The most common parasites are lice and red mites. Mites will live in the chicken coop and only appear during the night to suck blood from the chickens.

Whereas lice actually live on the chickens’ bodies, so they are easier to spot.

In both cases, you can use poultry dust from your local hardware store to remove the parasites. If you are treating mites, you can spread the poultry dust in the coop, whereas if you are treating lice, you need to apply the poultry dust directly onto your chickens.

To prevent either of the parasites from returning, make sure you regularly clean your chicken coop and wash your hands before handling your chickens.

If your chickens have lost their feathers for over 12 weeks and there is no obvious sign as to why make sure you visit your vet to double-check they are ok.

Vent Gleet

Just one of the diseases that might cause your chicken to lose feathers is vent gleet. This is a fungal infection in your chicken’s vent, which is where they expel eggs and waste.

While the feather loss from vent gleet is usually close to the vent, it can be anywhere. 

If your chicken develops vent gleet, consult a vet. Prevent it by keeping the coop clean and giving your birds proper food and water.

Roosters Can Be The Cause of Chicken Feather Loss

Rooster Moulting Issues

Surprisingly, roosters can be the cause of chickens losing their feathers as well. When roosters mate with hens, the rooster holds onto the hen’s back with their beak- this is known as treading.

When this happens, the rooster can easily pull the feathers out of the hen’s neck and back. If the rooster only mates with a certain hen, then the balding can be very obvious!

Fortunately, if your rooster is placed with several hens, then this balding won’t be noticeable.

Chicken Feather Loss Can Be Caused by Stress

Chickens can also lose feathers when they are experiencing high stress levels in general. Stress can be caused by:

If you think your chicken is stressed out and need to chill out a bit, consider what’s upsetting them and remove the stressor.

For example, If a predator is lurking nearby, you might not know it, but your chickens certainly do. Feather loss and extensive rooster crowing (especially at night) indicate an unwelcome visitor nearby.

Change in Diet Can Cause Loss

A sudden change in a chicken’s diet can inadvertently trigger a molt. In fact, industrial-grade farmers used this common technique to force their chickens to molt and improve the quality of eggs they laid. Fortunately, this is now illegal in many places.

By changing their diet, if you’re not careful, you can reduce the amount of protein your chickens are getting, and this can cause them to molt.

I’ve previously written about the importance of giving your chickens good quality layers pellets and what happened when we stopped giving our chickens pellets.

If you want healthy, happy chickens, you need to make sure they get access to a high protein diet, and the simplest way to do this is through layers pellets.

Another Reason for Chicken Feather Loss Could Be Preening

Preening is yet another reason that your chickens might lose some feathers. The difference is that they will only lose a few, and they will do it themselves. In fact, compared to the other reasons, this is hardly noticeable or not even noticeable. 

You know that your chickens spread the oil from their preen gland (by the base of their tail) and use their beak to spread it over the feathers. They also sometimes remove unsightly feathers. 

Boredom Can Also Be A Cause

Like any other animal, your chickens might get bored if you don’t give them enough space or activities. Sometimes, that boredom can lead to them picking out their feathers, whether from frustration or to give them something to do. 

Luckily, this is typically an easy fix. You need to give your chickens a bit more space and some distractions. 

Reasons the Chicken’s Feathers May Not Come Back Right Away

You solved the problem, and your chicken isn’t losing feathers anymore, but new feathers aren’t growing. What happened? 

Sometimes, the feather breaks as it emerges. It can get stuck in the skin, making the chicken’s body think that there is a feather there.

If that happens, you will have to wait until the chicken molts again and sheds the feather. Then, a replacement should grow in its place. 

Even if you got your chickens’ feather-pecking under control, they might still pick some of the new feathers growing into place.

Unfortunately, pin feathers are really tempting, especially when surrounded by the red of irritated skin. 

How Can You Encourage the Chicken’s Feathers to Return More Quickly?

Luckily, you can do a few things to help encourage your chicken’s feathers to return more quickly. These include: 

  • Only giving snacks and treats in moderation.
  • Letting your chickens enjoy a dust bath.
  • Confirm your chicken is getting the proper diet.
  • Adding sea kelp or kelp meal to their diet.
  • Keeping the area clean. 
  • Using Blu-Kote to dye the area slightly blue and reduce the urge to peck.
  • Removing the chickens missing feathers from the flock temporarily. 
  • Using aprons to cover the area. 
  • Maintaining the right proportion of roosters to hens to prevent over-mating.

The key thing to remember is that normally when chickens lose their feathers, it’s completely harmless.

However, sometimes it can be a cause for concern, so make sure to give your chickens a thorough inspection if/when they do lose their feathers.

Common Questions About Chicken Feather Loss

If you still have any lingering doubts about feather loss, the following should help clear them up. 

What Causes Feather Loss in Chickens?

The most common reason for feather loss in chickens is molting or molting, which is natural and involves replacing older feathers with new ones. 

How Do You Treat Feather Loss in Chickens?

Inspect your chickens by pushing apart the feathers to look for the cause of the loss. Once you figure out what caused the feather loss, you can address the problem at its source. 

How Do You Tell If Chicken Is Molting or Has Mites?

Look for signs of mites or lice, such as decreased activity, dirty vent feathers, pale combs, appetite changes, weight loss, reduced egg production, ragged-looking feathers, bald spots, and feather-pulling.

How Often Do Chickens Lose Feathers?

Molting typically happens about once a year, starting at around 18 months old. Expect the process to take 8-16 weeks. 

What Do You Feed Chickens for Feather Growth?

Let us know in the comments below what methods you’ve used to help your chickens during their molts.

Read Next: Chicken Molting: What Is It and How to Fix It

Chicken Feather Loss- Cause and Cure


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177 thoughts on “Chicken Feather Loss: Cause and Cure

  1. My chickens have not moulted yet but now I have some more information on moulting. Do you have a post about moulting where I can read more about it.?

    1. Hi Sammilee,
      I’m in the middle of writing one and will make sure it’s ready before the fall when they will moult 🙂

    2. If one chicken has mites or lice wouldn’t they all have it or at least more than one chicken. I don’t have a rooster. I feed them extra protein and they get apple cider vinegar in their water everyday. Should I isolate her and give her time to destress and relax. I did this b4 with a hen and it worked.

    1. Hi Gwen,
      Occasionally hens loose feathers from their rear ends first during a molt.
      If you are certain is isn’t a molt, I would check them for mites!

          1. One of my bantams has just lost the feathers on her head. How do I check for mites?
            I put 1 teaspoon about of cider vinegar to a pint if water is this correct pkease?

    2. My hens moulted right before winter, however only one of the three has gotten the feathers back. I’ll see them start to come in, and the next day they’re gone. Is there something I can do to get them to stop pulling out the new growth? I have 9 hens and 1 rooster, and only the 2 have no feathers on their backs.

      1. Separate the rooster for a week and see if they grow back. With it being on their back, I suspect the pin feathers are getting worn off with mating.

    3. my 14 month old chicken has been laying eggs until about 2 weeks ago and she is losing lots of feathers in her back end area. No change in food or coop.

  2. I just came back after being away for a week and found that one of our chickens feathers are gone I don’t know what is wrong

    1. Hi Hayley,
      Is it just the one chicken that has lost its feather or all of your flock?

      1. I have 3 chickens in one coop and only 2 are losing feathers. I treated their coop for mites and parasites but I know there may be mice coming into their coop. Can mice cause so much stress it causes them to lose feathers?

        1. Hi Leticia,
          I’ve never had mice before so I’m not certain but I would be surprised!
          Are you sure they aren’t just starting their molt?

  3. My chicken was attacked an her feathers never came back on her neck. Any ideas on how th o protect her skin from the sun?

    1. Most of our flock have feathers missing from neck, breast, back and butt. We have tried dysudusdirt, a lice mite spray and 7 dust. Help.

      1. Hi Bob,
        Do all of your hens have missing feathers? It sounds to me like you have a bully in the coop who is plucking their feathers at night!

  4. I have a chick not even 2 months old that is bald between the wings. No other feathers are missing and can’t even tell what sex they are yet.

    1. I have one about 3 months missing feathers on her back between her wings too don’t see signs of mites. I just brought her home from a very reputable farm. did you ever get any answers?

  5. All my 9 hens have bald backs. Some are worse than others. There is 1 rooster. No problem with egg laying. Is it possible that the rooster is doing it? Their coop is small for 9 but I would think that the sides would bald. Please help!

    1. Hi Alma,
      It’s certainly possible that the rooster is doing it- when they mate he will mount their back and this can cause the bald backs. Have you noticed this at all?

  6. I have been buying ‘poultry blocks’. They are loaded with seeds and full of protein. They are as big as a cow salt block. At Tractor Supply they cost $12.99, but last quite a while. Seems my chickens are looking better and their feathers coming back in!!! Thank goodness, because they looked ‘ugly’!!!

    1. Nice to hear their feathers are coming back Dana 🙂
      Make sure to try our own DIY recipe for flock block to save some money!

    2. I have four chickens and one is losing her feathers and stays to herself. I moved them about a month ago, and don’t know if she I depressed from the move or not. They are around 16 months old. The other three are fine and not losing feathers. I am going to try this protein block and appreciate the idea! Thanks!0

  7. We had two chickens and one just died about 6 weeks ago. We bought three more chicks, but can’t integrate them until they are a little bigger. So the original (Lady Gaga) has been alone for a while. She is free range – roams the entire 1/6 acre back yard. She recently has been losing a lot of feathers. We examined her yesterday and realized they aren’t just falling out, they have been bitten off. The quills are still on her body, but the feathery part is gone. This has happened on her chest and her butt. I’m not just talking a few, it’s a lot.
    Our first thought was that another animal had been attacking her, but if that were the case, I think she would have bite marks as well. Would / could a chicken do this to herself? I know she can reach the chest, but all around the vent as well? And if she is doing it to herself, what could be the cause? Is it just because she is lonely? She hasn’t layed in about four weeks, either.

    1. Hi Kelly,
      I’m sorry to hear about your loss…
      This is very strange. A chicken wouldn’t normally do this to themselves, unless they were broody and then it would just be on their chest area…
      I would check her for mites/lice because she might be pulling them out because of the itchiness…
      Let me know how you get on,

      1. Hi Claire, our 8.5 year old hybrid chicken (Miss Pepperpot) has exactly the same issue – quills but no feathery bit. I’ve literally just seen this. She has been on her own since June when her last companion died. (We have been advised not to try to home her with a new flock as she would be bullied.)
        Do you think that emotional stress could cause this problem?

        1. Hi Denise,
          It could well do- I know sometimes when my girls get stressed they pull their own feathers out 🙁
          Sorry to hear about Miss Pepperpot.

          1. Thanks Claire, I think we will just have to concentrate on keeping her as entertained as possible.

          2. Hi Claire I have noticed this on one of my birds this morning they are all loosing feathers but one of them as it quails in the back and no feathers in two big patches. I had them last year when they was on 6th months old and not seen this before am a little worried any advice.

          3. Hi Louise,
            Sounds to me like it could be their first major molt as they are around 18 months old now.
            I don’t think it’s anything to be too concerned about- have you noticed any redness or bleeding?

        2. Chickens are very social birds…they require companionship or they get stressed. I would suggest getting 1 or 2 new birds & integrate slowly. And you are correct about putting her in an already existing flock, she would be bullied, especially since she is already stressed. Good luck 🙂

    2. Hi Kelly, one of my chicken fits the same description you shared, she has numerous bold spots but oddly enough her quilts are still on her, I asumed she was molting but today I was shocked as I noticed her quilts. We don’t have males and I know she is not Brody because I saw her out and about at least three times today..i cleaned today the coop and I guess I’ll check tomorrow for lice. I hope she is fine, she’s my fav.

    3. This can be depluming mites.. my chickens have the same problem! Hope you solve it 🙂 Look up sulphur powder for a cure 🙂

  8. I have 34 chicks but only one chick is loosing feathers after suffering mosquito bites. What could be the problem?

    1. Hi Anastasia,
      I would first sort of mosquito flies and make sure they are kept away from the coop and run area.

  9. We have a 9 week old Speckled Sussex hen who we just noticed today had feathers ripped out in between her wings. She appeared very lethargic today. We separated her and wormed her and started her on soluable Tylan in her water. She just seems tired like the others had been picking on her. Any suggestions

    1. Hi Ryan,
      You need to make sure that no blood has been drawn- chickens love to peck a red colored things!
      Keep her well fed and make sure to and also keep her water filled up with vitamins.

  10. hi, we have 2 hens and one seems to be losing feathers from her wing. I don’t see lice, but you can see her wing underneath where she is losing feathers. The other hen is fine. Would this be lice still?

    1. Hi Maria,
      Please send us an email with photos and we will try to help 🙂

  11. Help! I have ten chickens, one of my youngest, a one year old blue Marans, is the only one with feather loss. She has no feathers on her butt and spotty on her back and sides. Plus, where her skin is showing it is bright red. She is towards the bottom of the pecking order. Since she is the only one I do t think it is mites, but I don’t know what to do. I have tried seven, blue kote, and even vitamin E. I do t know if I should separate her from the rest of the flock or not.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Karen,
      First I would double check her for mites and if she does have them treat her with a dusting.
      Do this and if you still have problems then let me know 🙂

  12. We have 8 laying chickens, 3 are year plus and 5 are new to the flock, <year. They integrated fairly well. One of our older chickens is losing her feathers. She looks like someone has chewed her up. She has feather loss every where. She seems otherwise to be fine, eating drinking, running around. All the other chicks seem healthy, no feather loss etc. Could just one chicken have mites/lice? They are all in one coop which is big enough for all of them.

    1. Hi Joy,
      Normally if one chicken has mites- they will all have mites.
      Is she has only recently lost them I would clean the coop out and treat them all with a dusting powder.
      However if she hasn’t had feathers for a while it sounds to me like she is being bullied. In which case you can use the tree pruning sealer as discussed in the article to find the bully!

  13. I have 3 chickens laying well,but the white star and sussex have lost the feathers just around the neck,the marin I have has no feather loss.

  14. My 3 yo Speckled Sussex just began dropping lots of feathers from her fluffy rear area (not the neck like a usual molt). I don’t see any bald patches or any parasites. The other girls are ok. Isn’t July a bit early for a true molt? It’s been very hot here lately. Could this be the cause? I keep water in several areas throughout the yard as they free range during the day. I’m perplexed.

    1. Hi Jennefer,
      Yes June is very early for a molt so I’d be surprised if it was this early.
      I would keep an eye over her the next few days and see if any other hens in the flock start dropping feathers or not.
      If they do drop us an email with some photos and we will do our best to help 🙂

  15. We inherited 11 unsexed chicks, transpired that 3 were cockerels and the 8 hens are various breeds and sizes. One particular poor little hen (she is a bantam I think) was the favourite for a much bigger cockerel and his mounting caused an awful lot of feathers to be ripped out, which don’t look to be growing back. We separated the smaller hens with missing feathers and let them recover. We have had to rehome two of the cocks, but this little hen (Michelle is her name) still doesn’t have her feathers. She doesn’t have mites. I have been letting them have the occasional egg and given them mealworms as well as layers pellets and corn
    Any suggestions?? 🙁

    1. Hi,
      It sounds like you are doing all the right things. For a hen to grow their feathers back they need plenty of protein. The only other thing you could do is get them a molting mix feed- your local feed store will stock it.
      It’s high in protein so helps stimulate feather grow…

  16. Hello,
    I am new to chickens, (about a month
    Now) and My red hen has a bald spot on her chest…..being that it is early August, could it be molting? I only have two hen’s no rooster, and the bared rock is dominant, and occasionally pecks at the other hen’s neck, not her chest. She (red one) usually sleeps in the nesting box, where I had added some lavender herbs to the sand…..she doesn’t stay in all day however, just sleeps there, then in to lay eggs late morning, and the outside. Has not been overly hot here in Oregon, actually it’s been firmly cool In the mornings, su my and 80 in afternoon. She is a prolific layer, pretty much daily. Rarely does she miss a day. My other hen is an every other day girl. Any help appreciated!

    1. Hi Mary,
      Are you certain she is laying eggs? It sounds to me like she is broody- when hens are broody they tend to pluck their own chest feathers out so their skin can touch the eggs…

  17. It’s early Aug, very hot and one of our “new to us” chickens (2 orpingtons) has lost a LOT of feathers in the last 2 days. Could this be stress? As they are getting the same feed/grit as at their previous owners. They are in a brand new coop, but are not able to completely free-range as previously, due to predators. Any suggestions would be great!

    1. Hi Annette,
      It could well be stress.
      How long have they been with you for. In my experience chickens tend to need around 2-3 weeks to settle in to a new environment.

  18. Hi I have just come back from holiday and one of my favourite chickens is losing/lost feathers from her neck. I have 4 and she is the only one. I’ve been watching her closely and she seems very scared of 2 of them she runs fast past them and away when they get close. They have lived together for a year now so I’m not sure what has changed.

    1. Hi Amanda,
      This does sound very strange and again sounds like one of the flock members might be bullying her!
      If this continues you can either isolate her or the bully and see if her feathers come back.

  19. My chickens are losing the little under feathers because I see them on the ground but none of them look like they are missing feathers. They are all around 5-6 months old. Is this normal? It’s also been really hot here. I’m not sure if weather is a factor.

        1. Hi Miki,
          Personally I don’t know as I haven’t used it for this yet.
          However, I’m aware that others have successfully used DE for this…

  20. are chickens have missing feathers on their backs just like shown on your second picture. We have barred plint rocks, they were hatched march 1, 2016. Is it too soon for them to be molting at this age? Fed 16% pellets, a little scratch and fresh water daily. Our road island reds are not showing the same problem. Please reply per e mail, thank you

    1. Hi Donald,
      Yes it definitely sounds too early for them to have their first molt- this normally occurs when they around 18 months old.
      Are the barred rocks kept in the same coop as the RIRs? Also are there any Roosters in the flock?

  21. Hi,
    I live in the uk, have 3 hens (this is their second summer on earth) and one of them has lost a line of feathers from right underneath her belly, between her legs. She has not laid for the last 2 days but seems happy enough. Is this likely to be a moult? None of them moulted last year.
    I don’t think they have mites. I add a solution to their water once a week to prevent this and it has always been successful. (My breeder recommended it) They live at night in an Eglu and run around in a pen during the day.
    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Ann,
      As this is their second summer I’d suspect they are around 18 months old now. In this case, yes I’d expect it to be the start of their first major molt!

  22. At my house there is a chicken named Ginger, and her feathers are twigs. Bones are sticking out, and the rooster keeps treading on her. We’ve put vaseline on her, but she is eating it.
    What do I do!? I’m worried!

    1. Hi Vicki,
      Make sure she doesn’t have any infections or parasites. After you’ve made sure she is healthy, make sure she is well feed and watered. You could also add some electrolyte to her water.

  23. I bought 5 Rhode Island red hens. I didn’t notice this until we got them home. All their beaks were broke off and feathers were damaged( broke off and missing) what can I do to help them

    1. Hi Bridgette,
      What do you mean by broke off? Can you email us a photo and we will see how we can help!

  24. I have a chicken that the others in the flock bullied. I separated her from the rest and when I tried to put her back they attacked her again. She is still a homeless little girl. What should I do?

    1. Hi Sandi,
      Does the entire flock bully her or just one or two hens? If it is just one or two hens I would in fact isolate the hens that are doing the bullying. Then in a few days reintroduce the bullies and see how you get on,

  25. We have 10 hens and 1 rooster. We got them as chicks last june, so about 15 months ago. They started laying end of November and were laying 8-10 eggs a day on average. Since beginning of May-ish, they dropped to 1 or 2 eggs every other day. Now, for the last couple weeks they haven’t even laid an egg, that we can find. They have plenty of nesting boxes, get free range of food and layer pellets. They seem to be healthy besides, one is missing feathers on the top of its tail/lower back and neck area (looks to be from being picked on maybe?) My husband is about to kill them because they aren’t laying…any ideas on what is going on?!

  26. Hi,
    My youngest chick, (about a year and a half old), has been losing her feathers on her wings and around her neck. It just started today or yesterday. I have 3 chickens, and she is the only one losing her feathers. She is the lowest in the pecking order, but the highest protects her. I’m worried, since she’d been bullied a lot from the second eldest chicken, (Pip), that she might get hurt again. I have diatomaceous earth that I sprinkle around their coop, and where they take dirt baths. I was wondering if meal worms would provide enough protein for her. (If any).
    Thank you so much,

    1. Hi Kenzie,
      They do provide some protein but not much.
      The best way to increase her protein is by changing her feed to game feed…

  27. My chickens have molted all summer and stopped laying eggs except for my silkie. Just when they all seemed to be all feathered up they are molting again. Still no eggs. I have given them calf mana and molting muffins and dusted them with DE. One of my chickens died recently. I don’t know if this was related or not. It’s getting colder and I’m worried about them. (I have four Polish Crested and one Silkie.) help!

    1. Hi Linda,
      It sounds very strange that they molted back-to-back, I’m not sure I’ve heard of this before.
      Are you certain that they are molting and don’t have some sort of infestation?

  28. hi hope you can help I have 4 chickens 3 years old the speckled one lost feathers 3 weeks ago I thought it had been attacked, feathers all over the coop now the other 3 have started losing them but in all different places 1 head. 2. chest 3 tail 4. back tail I don’t understand why the quills are still in they all seem happy eating drinking scratching around I have checked for mite and lice cant find the cause.

    1. Hi Donna,
      It sounds to me like they are molting. I would recommend you read our molting article and see if the signs are similar to your hens 🙂

  29. I have a chicken who is loosing feathers, and is bleeding on her wing. She also was staying on her roosting bar all day and I had to bring her food and water. Now I have her quarantine. we use this special dust that is suppose to kill mites and lice. If you have any idea please tell me, and we don’t have a rooster.

    1. Hi May,
      It sounds like she either has parasites or was attacked. Either way it sounds like you’re on-top of it 🙂
      Good luck and be sure to email us if you have any specific questions.

    2. My hens droop soft feathers during cool season while they are 14 month old,and egg production is declined to 45% there is no mite or lice

      And I feed them very well the only thing I know about it is that the weather changes cause them cough and I treat them I both deworm and make a routine vaccine with Lasota booster still nothing change

      I need advice please

    1. Hi May,
      If your hen has a parasite you should quarantine them for at least 21 days. During this time, you should make sure to treat the hen with parasites as well 🙂

  30. Hi, we have recently moved to a property that came with 6 laying hens and a rooster. The entire flock is young and had just started laying. When we moved in, we were getting five eggs a day. One week later time change happened. All egg
    production has stopped. We have tried putting a light in their coop to make their day longer, but no luck. Also, our rooster, Randy, is looking quite dishevelled. He is loosing feathers everywhere, which I assume is a moult. There are feathers all over the place, but as for now he is the only obvious one to be looking noticeably less feathery. Is this normal and do I just wait it out? Thanks!