Is this a molt or disease?

Bocktobery 10

10 Years
Oct 8, 2010
I am not really sure what a molt is supposed to look like. Lets just say I suspect that is what is going on. I have checked for hits and have never found anything even remotely moving on any of my hens. I also use D.E. in the coop bedding. I free range my hens and feed them Purina layer crumbles, oats, and some corn.

I have a 2 year old Buff Orpington hen, whom about two weeks ago started to hang out in the coop all day long- something unusual for her. I had thought she was just molting as I see new feathers starting to come in, but I am concerned because she has lost quite a bit of weight. Also her feathers- the ones that just came in I suspect, are not formed properly. The feather itself is long, but there is no barb... just a shaft. There might be some barb sparsely here and there and at the tip of the feather itself, but in-between there is nothing but a long quill shaft- I think that is what you would call it. I am also concerned because when I watched her back feathers come in, right before the feather shaft would appear, she would have large red bumps that looked painful. Sometimes I would see blood at the tip of the shaft that just appeared. Is this normal?

I have another hen who is currently ill and Its been suggested to me it might be mareks- So I'm a bit concerned here that I might be dealing with something here.

There is also a slight possibility that my hen just doesn't want to be out with the rooster. She is my largest hen and he's a big guy who tends to go for her the most. My hens seem a bit stressed when he is around, so it might be him that she wants to get away from also.

Thanks in advance for any replies...

Y N dottes

7 Years
Sep 1, 2012
South Central WI
chickens do lose weight when they molt, and the new feathers that just start to come in first look like a straight pin/quill(not sure what to call it). if u could post a picture, it might help.

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