Hey all. A co worker of mine found out he was unable to have chickens where he lived, so he gave me his 13 layers. They are only about 8 months old and have been laying very well for him. I moved them into our extra coop, and moved our dominant rooster in with them. The next day I noticed HUGE bare patches on them, backs mostly... all except for 2 of them - the 2 on the top of the pecking order. It seems that he had his hens inside a coop all day to keep them out of site of the neighbors, with heat lamps and 14 hour lights on a timer. Well, at our place they have a run, fresh air, not heat lamps but sunlight. We starting mixing soybean meal into the layer feed (20% is the meal) so they will get more protien so they can regrow those feathers. They stopped laying (except for those 2) and started regrowing the feathers since they need them in the cold weather. My question is now how long will it take them to get them in and start laying again. If I knew there was going to be this much of a downtime with them, i would have agreed to a lesser price on them. (we are giving him 1 roaster for each layer in the spring time) I feel so bad for them... they are in good hands now, but I almost feel like I saved a bunch of battery hens.