Chicken diet/ Feather loss question.
I have two separate but related questions. My first concerns feather loss. I have 20 laying hens about half RIR and the other half Americaunas, plus two Americauna roosters. 4 of the RIRs have been bald on their saddles for about 6 months now and I don't know what else to do for them. 2 of them are even missing feathers on their wings. The feathers they have are dull and look pretty ratty and the ones on the wings are split. The RIRs are a little over 1 1/2 years old. Now some of the Americaunas are starting to lose feathers on their saddles. I'm positive they are being offered plenty of protein although that doesn't necessarily mean they're eating it, more on this later. I thought it might be a vitamin deficiency or that the roosters where tearing them out and the ones with the missing feathers were just favorites. Any ideas?
My second is on diet. I started mixing my own feed this fall because I had access to really cheap raw ingredients and I wanted to avoid byproducts anyway. I read up and found out about Pearson's Square which lets you calculate total protein. My feed formula is 8 2/3 parts wheat, 8 2/3 parts cracked corn, 4 1/3 parts oat, and one part soybean meal. If I figured this out right that should give them 17% protein. The reason why I'm sure they are being offered enough protein is because I misremembered the formula and have accidentally been giving them 4 parts soybean meal (I'm going to be using the correct formula from now on). I also give them a vitamin, mineral, and electrolyte supplement called Vi-tal in their water and oyster shell free choice. So my questions are, does this sound like a good diet for the birds? Could I add something that would help with the feather loss? Because the soybean meal is a powder and the rest of the feed is bigger pieces could they be picking out the grain and therefore not be getting enough protein?
Thanks for any help.