Originally Posted by J3ffr3y
How would I know if they are molting?
I noticed the one was molting soon as I took her out of the crate to put her in the coop, there were a few feathers in the crate and some almost seemed to fall off in my hands. In the coop the first few nights I suddenly had a storm of feathers on the ground, after about the second or third day I started seeing not only the ones brown feathers but another's white feathers, and again a few days later solid black feathers. My girls are mixed breeds and all different colors so it's easy to see who is who. The brown of the 3 stared getting a few bare spots but nothing really noticeable unless you picked her up and looked. The other 2 seem to be much slower at molting as I never see bald spots but can find pin feathers on the girls. Pin feathers look very much like the ink tube you pull out of an ink pen, and as they get bigger it's a sleeve the new feather grows in till its developed. The one that was molting first was also much more aggressive when being handled, given none of the 5 are really use to handling but we nicknamed her bitey for the first few days tile we agreed on names. My understanding is the pen feathers can make them very uncomfortable especially when touched or handled, I try to imagine the needle in your arm when you get blood drawn.
Eitherway Henrietta might have been towards the end of her molt as about the same time she decided to start laying I was seeing less and less of her feathers in the coop.
I'm not sure on timing but it seems in general most chickens will molt late fall early winter, to have a new healthy layer for feathers to insulate through the cold months