I have an older hen (about 5 or 6 years, RIR) who was balding and had a ratty tail and balding on her back. She wasnt being harrased by roos, just had very poor feather condition. She one day decided she wanted to live in our garage by herself. This was after living with all the chickens in the henhouse and being freeranged with them as well. I feed in several feeders, some have lay crumble, some have flock raiser. PLenty of fresh water everyday. Table scraps, and oystershell, and lots of BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) has been an veryday thing as well, but nothing seemed to fix her feather issue. I just figured it is her age since she is one of 3 hens we have in her age group (the other 2 have feather issues as well, they have been kind of a 'control' group). Since moving into our garage, she started eating our dry catfood that we leave out for our outdoor kitties (not the cheapest kind, but not super high quality either). She does make the occasional trip to the feeders, and gets treats just for her, and eats lots of bugs and grass in our back lawn. Now its been about 2 months and ALL her feathers have grown back, and they are soooo shiny and full and soft! This is NOT a molting thing, I've never had a chicken molt and get feathers back of this quality, and be so old. Her laying had gone off to about every 3rd day, and now is up to everyday- I thought a 5 year old hen would have slacked off laying this well by now? Now I'm wondering, Is cat food really bad for them internally? I have heard mixed reports, and I dont want to inadvertently hurt her if its really bad for her. Could the cat food be reponsible for her looking better and laying better? Or just coincidence? Opinions and personal experiences (good or bad) would be greatly appreciated!!!