What's up with this chicken? Here's what she normally looks like. But since we introduced two new chickens a couple of weeks ago she has been losing feathers. I can think of several reasons why chickens might lose feathers:
1. Mites. But if she has mites surely the others would have them too. Whatever it is, she's the only one affected.
2. Pecking. Unlikely, because she's the top chicken. I've never seen her and our other old girl peck each other. Both the old girls chase the two new girls, but the new girls have all their feathers.
3. Moult. It's the wrong time of year. Then again, chickens can be deliberately contrary. It could be moult.
4. Stress. I reckon this is the most likely cause. It started when we introduced new chickens. None of them are laying terribly well, so I know they are all stressed. There are lots of black feathers below the spot where she roosts. I think she's pulling them out herself at nights.
I might treat them for mites, just in case that's it. But I think it's more probably the stress of adding new chickens that is making her pull out her own feathers. I plan to do nothing and just observe them for a bit longer. With any luck she'll get used to the new status quo and return to her old self.