I havent seen this topic discussed on BYC the subject of molting. In nature, chickens and other avian species undergo a natural process called molting, where feathers are lost, the reproductive tract shrinks, and the hens quit laying eggs; basically, the hens have a period of rest. This is followed by the growth of a new set of feathers, an increase in the size of the reproductive tract, and the beginning of a second cycle of egg production. My questions for all you BYC enthusiast would be have all your mature chickens experienced this cycle, for how long (I realize there are many variables), degree of loss of feathers, do they lay during molt, does egg production increase afterwards, how long usually before feathers grow back. If there is any information you can share I would appreciate hearing about them that you have experienced.