Molting Chicken Lays- Non-Molting One Suddenly Doesn't

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by New Flockman, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. New Flockman

    New Flockman Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 8, 2011
    Northwest Ohio
    One of our two Rhode Island Reds (both almost 2 years old) has definitely molted. Poor Phoebe is like Pigpen in Peanuts.... but instead of dirt, feathers fly wherever she goes. She is so utterly disheveled and completely cranky but, oddly, still a fairly regular egglayer. The eggs are kind of odd, somewhat thin shelled and positively HUGE. Very watery also. Her eggs come every other day now.

    Peaches, is showing little sign of molting (possibly a few feathers astray) but she hasn't laid an egg in 10+ days. She stopped laying about the time Phoebe's molt began in earnest. She is her normal happy, affectionate self, eating well, pooping well etc.

    The weather is cold here now (NW Ohio) but warmer than last year and they were laying like mad then. We expected a slowdown come winter but no eggs in 10 days has this New Flockman a little concerned. Comments?
  2. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    They don't play by the "rules".

    I too have 2 older hens (2.5 yrs old Leghorn & Production Red). Both laid nonstop for 2 straight years. However, PR looked shaggy for all the while until this winter. She stopped laying and grew full and is now back in production.

    The LH showed no sign of any wear all the while. We thought she was super bird. Well, this fall she started to lose her feathers. We were concerned that she might be sick and saw no other signs. Then she stopped laying. By the winter, she grew back all her pristine white feathers. However, we are still waiting for her eggs. I don't think she is ready any time soon because her comb is pale and shriveled.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by