Molting, at what point should you suspect it's not normal?

Allsmiles3

Hatching
Dec 6, 2015
9
0
7
I am fairly new to raising hens. I have 3 girls who are free range, they are going to be 2 years old this spring. They are fed layer ration with oyster shell mixed in, their favorite treat is shredded cheese, and I've recently added a protein and vitamin supplement pellet which was supposed to be mixed into their feed, however they do not seem to want to eat it.
About 2 1/2 months ago we built them a larger coop that would accommodate a few more hens this coming spring and provide better shelter through the winter. The girls definately got stressed out by this and I can only assume that the stress may have triggered the molt.
All 3 began to lose feathers and stopped laying. This was in early October. None have layed anything since. Two of my girls have all their beautiful feathers back but one is still looking very raggedy. Most of her breast feathers are gone, some on her neck and her sickle feathers haven't returned. I've checked for mites and see no signs, she is in the middle of the pecking order so not the one who gets picked on, which is rare for my girls anyway. Any ideas on what I should do?
 

Yorkshire Coop

*
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Aug 16, 2014
22,833
25,184
1,247
Hi :welcome

Glad you could join us here! Fir me as long as they are eating and drinking ok and are acting reasonably normal I would not be too worried yet. I've got several birds who are moulting right now and they are all doing it at different speeds. Some have been bald in places others not. Some have had their new feathers come through quick but others not. Each bird is individual and do things at their own pace. If you still have concerns please do drop by here ~https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/10/emergencies-diseases-injuries-and-cures
I'm sure members there will be able to help you too.

Good luck and enjoy BYC :frow
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
They also have varying degrees of molt. Some will have a light molt, barely noticeable, others will become nearly naked and then covered with pin feathers. I still have one in the half naked/pin feather stage.
 

Allsmiles3

Hatching
Dec 6, 2015
9
0
7
Thank you! I am certainly feeling better, she's just normally my most beautiful and now...... Well WOW! I will follow the link you provided and read over things just to confirm, but thanks for putting my mind at ease
1f60a.png
 

Jesusisnumber1

In the Brooder
Jul 27, 2015
15
0
40
Washington pa
I have 4 hens that started molting in October. All 4 molted differently. In fact, 1 is still in the process. The others have gotten their new feathers. This was the first time I have witnessed this. I did not do anything different as far as food goes. Still fed them their pellet with omegas and their scratch and oyster shell. Plenty of water.

They stopped laying of course as their energy has to go to growing new feathers. They do look like new hens with their new feathers..
 

Allsmiles3

Hatching
Dec 6, 2015
9
0
7
Back in December I posted because I was worried about one of my girls, who started mounting in October. She still has not gotten her new feathers, or begun laying again. she looks extremely ragged and has a few bald spots, my other two girls look beautiful, healthy, laying well. I've looked in some of the forums and don't understand what's going on. Local vet hasn't got answers??? This can't be normal, we are talking 5 months.
 

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