Why Do My Chickens Have Bald Spots on Their Back?

If you’ve noticed your chickens sporting bald spots on their backs, you may be wondering what could be causing this peculiar phenomenon. There can be several reasons behind your chickens’ bald patches, including environmental factors, parasites, pecking behavior, and molting. Understanding these causes can help you address the issue and ensure the health and well-being of your feathered friends.

Environmental Factors

Environmental conditions can significantly impact the feather health of your chickens. Extreme heat or cold can lead to feather loss as birds may shed their feathers to regulate their body temperature. Wet or damp living conditions can also contribute to feathers falling off, promoting the growth of bacteria and fungi that can damage chickens’ feathers.


Parasites like mites, lice, and fleas are a common cause of bald spots in chickens. These pesky critters feed on the feathers and can infest the chicken coop easily if left untreated. Regular inspection and treatment for parasites are crucial for maintaining healthy plumage. Implementing proper coop hygiene, using dust baths, and applying appropriate pest control measures can help prevent and manage infestations and consequent bald spots.

Pecking Behavior

Chickens are notorious for their pecking behavior, which can sometimes escalate into feather pecking. Feather pecking occurs when chickens peck at the feathers of their flockmates, leading to bald patches. This behavior can arise due to stress, overcrowding, boredom, nutritional deficiencies, or even the presence of injurious feather pecking traits within the flock. Identifying and addressing the underlying causes, providing suitable enrichment activities, and ensuring a balanced diet can help minimize pecking behavior and prevent feather loss.


Molting is a natural process in chickens where they shed and replace their old feathers with new ones. During molting, chickens may experience excessive feather loss, especially on their backs. Molting typically occurs once a year but can vary depending on factors such as breed and age. Ensuring a well-balanced diet, including adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals, can support healthy feather growth during molting.

Health Issues

In some cases, bald spots on chickens’ backs can be an indication of underlying health issues. Conditions like follicle infections, fungal or bacterial infections, nutrient deficiencies, or hormonal imbalances can lead to feather loss. Consulting a veterinarian can help identify any health problems and provide appropriate treatment to restore your chickens’ feathers.

Table: Causes and Solutions for Bald Spots on Chickens’ Backs

Environmental FactorsProvide suitable living conditions and ensure proper temperature regulation and dry bedding.
ParasitesRegularly inspect for parasites, maintain good coop hygiene, use dust baths, and apply appropriate pest control measures.
Pecking BehaviorIdentify triggers and address underlying causes, provide enrichment activities, and ensure a balanced diet.
MoltingEnsure a well-balanced diet with adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals to support healthy feather growth.
Health IssuesConsult a veterinarian to identify and address any underlying health problems.

By understanding the various factors that can contribute to bald spots on your chickens’ backs, you can take appropriate measures to promote feather health and prevent further loss. Regular monitoring, suitable living conditions, preventative care, and addressing any underlying health issues are essential for ensuring happy, thriving chickens with their beautiful plumage intact.