Is this molting or illness? New chicken mom.


In the Brooder
Mar 12, 2018
I'm new to raising chickens (since september). My girls are just shy of 1 year old, and when I cleaned their coop today, I noticed there were more feathers than usual and my one buffs had a pale comb and face. I was wondering if anyone could confirm if this is molting. Her behaviors seem normal otherwise. She is scratching and pecking and exploring with the other chickens (3 total). I pasture raise them, they are outside all day in my fenced in yard. The neighborhood crows sometimes steal some of their food so I do worry about diseases. I started to give the chickens some extra mealworms as I've read I should increase their protein content. Is there a way to confirm if this is molting? Are there other things I should be looking for to diagnose disease? Also is it safe to give all of my chickens more protein or should I only give it to the one that seems to be molting?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

In the pictures with two chickens, the one I'm concerned with is on the left. In the pictures with three chickens, she's on the right. I also included some images with feathers I'm finding in the yard. I cleaned their coop before thinking to take a picture of the features, but there were enough feathers that I took note of the change.


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Last edited:
I see no signs of molting and they look well by your photos. Where are you located? Looks like it's getting warmer? Chickens will lose some down as it warms to lighten up the coat. A molt involves the harder top feathers, and you will see bald spots and new pin feathers growing in. My guess is your girls are just shedding some down feathers.

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