Is this a super molt or something else?

Jul 4, 2018
My chickens are molting like crazy! We have 11 hens and we used to get between 6 and 8 eggs a day. They were very reliable. But now we get one egg every other day. Even in past winters they have given us 4 or 5 eggs a day. Three of our hens are also almost bald. Several others, including the rooster, have been losing feathers at a rapid rate. Several of them have started limping. Is this normal? We have had chickens for several years and never seen anything quite like this. Help!


Crossing the Road
6 Years
Apr 9, 2016
California's Redwood Coast
Several of them have started limping. Is this normal?
Molt is harsh and can bring forward other issues.

Keeping nutrition up can be key to helping them through this difficult time. Many feed *more* protein as feathers are made from 90% protein and it's amino acids. Others, never feed layer as the non layers don't need the added calcium which can be hard on the kidneys. Do you mind sharing your feeding routine?

In past winters... they were younger than they are now. I would expect some more decline each year, as it will be harder and harder to maintain condition. It will vary with your breeds, and other factors as well.

Some people will start to add more light after they are DONE molting to help them return to lay sooner since that hormone is light sensitive. I go more natural... as a hen is born with all her ovum she will ever have... so increased laying just means running out sooner. Though the flip side in my over thinking brain ALSO says... maybe her other body functions could give out before the laying and best to get what you can while the getting is good leaving less eggs to cause less issues in the reproductive track later on... :confused:

Sorry your birds are having a rough go of it. Hope they recover quickly! :fl
Jul 4, 2018
Sorry for the long wait - hens weren't cooperating! It is my black star, Feather, and the Americana, Twilight, shown below, who are having the most trouble. The Americana roo is having some trouble too. My young Swedish Flower, Lily, is limping slightly. It is better than yesterday and is only apparent when she runs. They have full appetites still. Thanks for your concern and thanks for responding on a Sunday! :)


Free Ranging
7 Years
Feb 12, 2015
North Florida
Looks like molt, all those pinfeathers. So no eggs from the layers until they are finished with molt, and sometimes they won't start again until spring when the days lengthen depending on breed and age. Molt can vary in intensity, sometimes hard to tell they are, sometimes a feather explosion and bare spots. Not sure on the limping. Molt can make them feel kind of puny sometimes, a couple of mine are REALLY testy with others right now in mid molt. Have you examined all feet to make sure there are not any bumblefoot issues, or any swelling that would indicate an injury?

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