Hi All, Forgive me if this has been covered but I can't find the answer to my question. I have 2 "new to me" hens. I've ben told that they are around 16 months old. They are being held separate from my current 7 girls for now. These 2 (Buff Orpingtons, I believe), were originally part of a flock of 9 or 10. All the rest were taken by predators, a hawk and coyotes, I was told. These 2 remaining birds are pretty scroungy looking. One has almost no neck feathers and is missing the feathers from the tops (shoulders) of both wings and from a patch on her breast. The other is scruffy and has no tail feathers. I got them 3 days ago and have gotten eggs from both each day. I'm not seeing any mites or sign of disease except for some runny poop. I think that might have been from the stress of the move. I gather that they spent a night and most of a day in a series of cardboard boxes just big enough for the 2 of them. They are not particularly skittish and started scratching the dirt and looking around as soon as they got out of the box. They are drinking and eating. I feed organic lay pellets, beer grain as a treat
and my birds get the run of the yard most days. These new girls have a generous pen with a small coop and nest boxes. I'm not planning to turn them loose for a couple of weeks at least.
I guess my big question is whether the stress from predator attacks and the drastic changes in the flock can bring on a hard molt like the one is going through? Thanks!