Barred Rock dropping feathers


5 Years
Jun 11, 2017
I have an 18 month old Barred Rock that i thought was going through a rough molt but she is dropping feathers like I've never seen before. (Not that thats saying much because she is one of our originals) I'm concerned because the weather here in New Berlin, WI is getting pretty cold and she has quite a bit of exposed skin with some bright red patches.
Yesterday I was giving a 3 month old RIR some Nutri-drench because she has been sitting around puffed up, I was assuming from the cold, and I was hoping that would get her going so I decided to give some to the BR also and check her over for mites. I was trying to be as careful as possible but she dropped a good 10-15 feathers while I was checking her over and I didn't see any signs around the vent or under the wings of any bugs. I was thinking of just treating the flock with poultry dust just to be safe but am I missing something here?
It is the season of moult. At 18 months she is spot of for it, age wise.

Some birds do it discretely and some do it very dramatically. There is usually an annual photo contest here on BYC for birds that are in the latter category. Some really are shocking and also incredibly funny looking. It can help to look at those photos even if you don't submit a photo, just so you understand how bad it can get and that even these extreme examples are normal. Not sure if I will be able to find the thread but will have a look for you.
The skin usually goes red due to exposure to sunlight rather than the cold unless you have some extremely low temperatures. It may even be part of the mechanism for ridding themselves of external parasites by moulting during cold weather, when lice cannot breed.
Hopefully you should see some spikey pin feathers coming through very soon if not already. My girls love extra greens like cabbage/spinach etc) when they are moulting but extra protein is helpful too. Give them a treat of a little meat or fish or eggs a couple of times a week to help them through it.
What you're missing is that chickens do not all molt the same. Some are so discrete about it that you would swear they have never molted, yet they almost always appear to have gorgeous plumage. I have a Black Cochin that hides molt so well, I've never see a bare patch on her in her entire eight years of being my chicken.

On the other hand, I've had a SLW that would take over a year to molt, with long periods in between dropping feathers and growing in new ones. One winter she sported a saddle to help keep her warm in winter and from getting sunburned in summer.

Currently, I have a Silver Cuckoo Marans that was dropping feathers so heavily a couple months ago, she would leave mini-mountains of feathers whenever she would spend more than a a couple minute in one spot. Then she stopped for a month. Now she's resumed depositing mini-mounds of feathers everywhere, and when I handle her, I get a couple handfuls of feathers for my trouble.

Unless your BR is acting sick, her extended and acute molt shouldn't be cause for too much concern.
Thank you guys, I love how helpful this site is. I've seen the posts about the bad/funny molts but holy cow! I didn't know they could go through that long of a molt. Am I going to have to worry about her skin in the winter? She's bare about 1/3rd of the way up her back from her tail, a little poof of a tail and then under her tail about half way up her stomach is also bare. I am seeing more feathers starting at least.

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