Chickens molting is such a sad thing to witness and I really do believe that they are very uncomfortable when it happens. They go off their food, they hide and I really do believe there is some true discomfort there.
The owls that we care for at the Nature Center where I work are the same way. I asked a friend who has a raptor center and she agreed with me, all birds experience some level of discomfort during molting.
Just look at the girl in the top picture, she was one of the worse and she has been hiding and not eating well. All my girls are taking dust baths just trying to get some relief. Just think when the new feathers come in it has to be somewhat painful.
My whole flock of 15 Rhode Island reds are just a balding mess!
We are hoping for some big news this weekend and will announce it on the blog, till then appreciate those eggs, these girls really work hard for them!