My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?

The continuous chicken moult


Not so long ago, I was feeling sorry for Helen Hen as she continued to look lack lustre and hadn’t laid since February after going into a “mini moult”. I say mini because she never looked as though she had lost any feathers but there were feathers in the coop and she had stopped laying so I was guessing she was in some sort of moult.

Hilda Hen also went into the same “mini moult” although she was laying sporadically throughout. A few weeks ago, Hilda Hen was  fat and glossy and her comb was nice and bright and she picked up her laying consistency to about 2 eggs per week.


This was Hilda Hen three weeks ago, all fat and happy and laying.



As you are probably aware, it is winter here in New Zealand and I leave for work in the dark and come home in the dark so I don’t see my girls except in the weekend. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw Hilda Hen this morning. Scruffy, skinny (maybe her feather loss makes her look skinny) and looking quite pathetic. And of course it is raining today, so not the best type of day to show off her beauty at the best of times.

Here was I feeling sorry for Helen Hen last weekend as she hadn’t laid for such a long time and her comb was pale. Well, she has nothing on Hilda Hen when it comes to looking pathetic. I guess she is now going into a full moult. No wonder she hasn’t laid any eggs for two weeks and there are a lot more feathers in the coop. Poor girl.



4 thoughts on “The continuous chicken moult

  1. That’s nothing. I’ve seen some really naked pathetic looking chooks. Mine seem to have not bothered moulting this year with nothing more than each losing a few handfuls of feathers, clearly growing new feathers, and laying all the while.

    • Thanks for that. I was starting to think there was maybe something wrong with her. 🙂
      I still have Hannah laying and I haven’t yet had to buy eggs since I got my girls 12 months ago.

  2. I am a new follower and chicken lover from the USA. I adore your blog but haven’t had a chance to read all of it yet. What breed of hens do you have? Partridge Rock? We looked into one of that breed – lovely birds. We’ve started with a Light Brahma (a very sweet, docile and cuddly girl!) and a Rainbow Dixie. The Rainbow is a little nervous and rather clumsy – quite a comedienne!

    • Hi Jenny,
      Welcome. I love the clumsy comedienne chickens.Hilda is definitely one of them. They are so funny to watch.
      I have one partridge wyandotte bantam, Hannah and two Barnevelders, Hilda and Helen.
      New Zealand is limited in the available chicken breeds of chickens and we have to make do with what we have as we do not allow imported poultry into our country due to disease control. I guess that is a good thing but it does limit us.
      I don’t think we have partridge rocks here but I think we do have brahmas.
      Thank you for the nice comment about my blog. 🙂

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