18 month old hens molting question...


9 Years
Jan 25, 2010
Central Indiana
I've had them all(I think)molt over the summer and my last one is now naked. Unlike the others, she's blown 50% of her feathers. She has like 2 tail feathers, nothing on her butt, only a small stripe down the center of her chest, much of her head and neck feathers gone, and she has lost most of her wing feathers. There's so much gone on her wings that she can't get up to roost. I had to catch her in the coop and put her on the roost. She doesn't like being touched so she struggled to get free and did a header off the roost onto the floor.
She's fine and even seems to have additional spunk to her today.

This morning I saw her fighting with the rooster. They went at it for a while until I went out there and broke it up. She spent the rest of the day hiding under the wood shop. She came out about a half hour ago and the rooster went right for her and she got away when I blocked him. He kept trying to go after her as if she were a foreign invader. She had to hide among the flock of hens and every time he tried to even walk in her direction I blocked him and sent him the other way. Eventually he gave up and I just sat and watched them all for a while. Everyone preened, but her. There's nothing left to groom. I see what I think are the new feathers coming in. She's a gold-laced Wyandotte and her new feathers look blue. She doesn't want to eat, but she is very alert and spunky.

I assume it's just a normal molt, but it's getting cold at night. Will she be ok at night? She looks like she needs a sweater. LOL!
She'll be fine. Last winter, I had a buttercup go through a severe molt in December. She had barely any feathers, and we had a bad snowstorm followed by 2 days of 14 degree weather. I went out to check on her, and she was on the roost, cuddled up between my brahma and my Barred rock. They were keeping her nice and toasty.
She's still wide-eyed this morning, but still hiding from the rooster. They're free-range so she hides from him. Last night I had to put her in the nest box so she could stay warm and away from his incessant pecking on the roost.
I watched one of my Delawares jump off the roost the other day. She hit the ground and looked like she exploded there were so many feathers flying. The tractors are moved every day so there are feathers everywhere now.
Well after having put her in the nest box for one night, I found her in it again last night as I was shutting the door to the coop. They free-range and return at dusk. I put them all to bed and came back in. When the news came on at 11pm and said we'd be having near freezing temps that night I went outside and brought Dot in. I didn't think I could sleep thinking of her shivering. My hens have survived below freezing temps last winter and they were just fine. With her having hardly any feathers, shivering at night, then being picked on during the day by the roo I wasn't taking any chances. She slept in a cage with another hen I was treating for diarrhea. I covered the cage with towels and even noticed cold air coming in from under the front door. She's stopped eating, but I'm hoping she'll eat as the sun warms that room during the day.

So now I guess my new question is how long does it take for the feathers to grow back in?

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