We acquired three Leghorns and three Warrens a couple of weeks ago and noticed yesterday that the gang leader, the older Leghorn, has a couple of bald patches on the back of her head. She’s eating well, bright and healthy looking, and laying, but naturally, this is causing us some concern.

As she’s the most assertive of the six birds, I can’t see that the others would have feather picked but your advice would be greatly appreciated.Jennifer Smith, via email

It may be that these birds were running with a cockerel who pulled those feathers out before you had them. But if the patches have only just appeared, she may be pushing her head through the wire to get at some more grass and when pulling back, the feathers are scraped off. Treat them all for mites just in case, but read the label on the product you use to see if it affects the eating of the eggs. VR

Victoria Roberts BVSC MRCVSEmail the Vet’s forum at: vetsforum.csh@archant.co.uk

Disclaimer: The information and advice in this column is given in good faith. However, as the animals in question have not been examined by the author, no liability in respect of diagnosis or application of any treatments is accepted either by the author or by Country Smallholding

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