CHARLOTTE SHARES A TIP
Moulting usually lasts between eight and 12 weeks. Feathers are lost from the head, neck first, then from the saddle, breast and body, then the wings and lastly from the tail. Hens born in the spring and summer will not usually moult until the autumn of the next year. Usually it is the poor egg layers that moult early and the better the layer, the later in the year she will moult. Pin feathers may be seen – these are the new emerging feathers and usually indicate a short moult. The cockerel will also have a partial moult losing and replacing mainly just his tail feathers. During this process he will be infertile as his energy will be used to replace feathers.
I find quite a few hens have lost their neck feathers by the end of the summer so a moult is really useful as they come out of it looking very spruce!