Hi, I'm new here and this is kind of a long story. A year ago, we bought four adult Rhode Island Reds from a local farm. We have a coop and a large fenced yard around a big maple tree. They were fantastic producers, came when I called and healthy as can be. Just before the really cold weather, we bought two more from the same farm. They had integration issues but we had separate housing for them so it wasn't a problem. We set up heat lamps and daylight bulbs and were set for the winter. Then we had a crisis. Someone two miles away adopted a huge lab mix "problem" dog along with his brother. The dog took off one day, cruised around for about ten miles based on the reports to animal control, ended up at our house and slammed into the fence so violently that he tore out a post then ran over the wire to get to our chickens. He killed the two newbies. The others made it into the coop and were fine. My husband ran out and grabbed the dog. New owners gave a sob story about the dog, acknowledged that they couldn't handle it and agreed to rehome him. I used to work with a rescue and was very sad about the death of my hens but wanted to give them a chance to take care of the problem. And, you guessed it, five months later, the dog came back, chewed through the wire fasteners and killed two more chickens. Another was in such a state of shock that she died two days later. The last, most dominant, was hurt but superficially. After four days in the coop, she was OK. We told the animal control officer to throw the book at the dog owners (the woman told us that rehoming had never been discussed and we should be prepared for him to come back because he was a "chicken dog" - she actually wanted to make arrangements for when he came back to kill more chickens). We bought a new fence system which I call Fort Knox for chickens and called the farm to see if they were wiling to sell us eight more adult chickens. They only had what they described as "older" chickens. Brought them home and released them. Our remaining resident chicken immediately laid down the law and everyone found their place in the system. No pecking, everyone has adequate shelter and in the last week the new guys have clearly gained weight and are happy as clams, scratching around and eating bugs. Here's the problem: they look terrible! When I released them from their crates, I was horrified. They all have huge bald patches, mostly on their necks and chests. One has a huge bald bright red spot on her lower abdomen. Half are missing significant feathers on their heads. We named them all Gerry (as in geriatric). I was certain they were on death's door. After a week, a little better. Three of them are starting to look a bit more like the chickens we used to have. The one that was frighteningly scrawny is much closer to blending with the others in terms of her weight. Someone told me that they were moulting but geez! Our guys never lost *that* many feathers. In fact, I barely noticed our guys moulting. It was more like, hey, there are feathers on the ground but that was pretty much it. What happened to them?? Were they in really crowded conditions and essentially pecked to no end? They are laying three eggs a day for eight chickens which is actually really productive given their change of environment. We're actually getting four eggs a day but I'm assuming that one is from our original chicken. I can't very well call the farm and say "hey, did you lock these guys up in really close quarters just because they were older just to see if you could get some eggs out of them before their companions killed them?" but I'm hoping that I can ask you guys here. Is that what happens when chickens aren't so productive any more? Should I do anything more for these guys? I work at home and they're visible from my home office window so I know that they're not going after each other. Do I just let them adjust? One of them is already starting to get attitude with me which I think is great. If she wants that spot, she can have it as far as I'm concerned. And former Ms Scrawny follows me everywhere when I'm in the enclosure instead of running away. I'll stop babbling now. Thanks for any input.