I have one Welsummer and 2 Buffs that are 16 months old. My Welsummer lost her downy feathers around her vent in January (at 8 months) and didn't start laying until February ( at 9 months). Then she started losing feathers on her back at the base of her tail (saddle?). But all the time continuing to lay 3-4 eggs per week. I thought the Buffs were picking on her (pulling feathers) because she definitely seemed to be at the bottom of the pecking order. In June, she was completely bare butted and bare backed, her tail feathers looked like they were shredded and she stopped laying. I augmented their diet with cottage cheese to add protein. All summer the Buffs went in and out of broodiness with one of them staying broody for a good 6 weeks, no matter what I did to try to break her of it. While she spent all of her time on the nest, the Welsummer started getting pinfeathers and is now all feathered in except for her tail (it was the last to go). Is it just coincidence that her feathers grew back when Betty was on the nest being hormonal? Has anyone experienced such a long molt with a chicken and will she start laying again? Or is something not quite right with my girl?