My Girls are Molting

As Fall deepens and the nights grow longer and colder, eggs are fewer.  The girls go to bed earlier and earlier but seem content.  I have no eggs to sell but enough for us.  I know Amber has stopped laying and the others are laying every couple of days.  Is it because of the shorter days?

 I have started to notice a lot of  feathers…mostly Amber’s.  Are they molting?  Last year they lost a few feathers, but didn’t  go into a full molt.  They hadn’t started laying yet so there were no eggs to miss.  Hmmm….Amber has been a bit standoffish lately, which is not like her…


And she is looking a bit scraggly…and where are her tail feathers?  Oh dear, she does seem to be molting.

Beatrix seems to be losing feathers as well.

And Maeve is not her usual perfect self.  Her beautiful markings are just fluffy in spots.

Prudence also has a few fluffy spots where feathers are missing.


Cast off feathers collect in the run.

Briana seems fine…but that could change.  She is not laying every day which is unlike her.

She is very busy with this sunflower head I gave them, but her feathers seem intact.  Time will tell.

I don’t know if they will lose all their feathers…if they are going to I hope they do so quickly so they will have new fluffy warm feathers for the cold that is coming!  In any case, they will be busy growing feathers and not putting any energy into eggs.

 So there will be even fewer eggs for the next few weeks.  But once they have their gorgeous new feathers they should go back to laying…

We will just have to wait and see…


About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
This entry was posted in Autumn, Hens, Seasons and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to My Girls are Molting

  1. May I have a copy of the pic of Briana and the sunflower? I’d like to put it with our sunflower unit for K.. It’s really sweet!

  2. hobacaitbe says:

    I’ll take a molt over a broody anytime. Jasmine is all feathered out in new feathers, well she still needs longer tail feathers, and they are soft. So far Jack hasn’t ripped them off of her, maybe he has gentled with time. And, Jack is molting. He looks a little moth eaten and has a much shorter tail. I tried to visit Bealtaine Cottage on my vacation but couldn’t fit it into the schedule. Ed

    • pattigail says:

      You went to Ireland? How wonderful…I just love it there. If I could figure out a way to bring all my animals I would move there in a minute. Hope you enjoyed it.

      • hobacaitbe says:

        We had a wonderful time. I don’t think I could live there, I’m a plant, I like sunshine. As the travel guy said, “you don’t go to Ireland for a tan”.

  3. wspines says:

    Hello Pati,
    My hens usually molt in August. But I must remember we had a funny simmer with lots of rain and a very hot spell and then a very cold spell. Their poor little bodies didn’t know what to do. Most all of my hens are moulting now even Murphy who looks frightful! No worries they will be right as rain soon and we will be back in eggs too.

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