Help! 5 m old Longhorns losing feathers/not laying, Reds are fine
OK, new to chickens.... Purchased 6 Reds, 5 Longhorns at point of lay early Sept. 1 Longhorn rooster. We are getting 2-3 brown eggs a day only. The whites all seem to be losing feathers. They are not "naked" or bare but feathers are in the coop, on the ground, etc, their neck feathers seems to be thinner, one's butt looks like it has quills only..... when we first got them we received maybe 3 small white/grey eggs, I am thinking the Longhorns first eggs..... now the feather laying and NO eggs from them. My research has told me they are too young to molt? and if they are molting they had some high stress situation? They live with the Reds, all are the same ageish according to the feed mill we purchased them from.... end of May chicks.... If the Longhorns had a stressful situation, wouldn't it affect the Reds also? I am aware of no such stressor but....???? They receive fresh water daily,have a full feeder with the 'mash"I purchased from the feed mill. They have a fenced in 25 x 25 foot area to roam, also the kids let them out every once in awhile so they get plenty of "free roaming food". They get appropriate leftovers and seem to LOVE them. LOL I also read if they molt young they will be poor producers, and may not produce at all till spring? I read increasing their protein intake may help.... cat food one post said..... I threw that to them and they pecked at it but I am thinking it is maybe to big for them...... It is raining tonight... maybe it will make a nice mash for them in the morn.... they had their beaks burnt off or whatever hideous thing commercial chicken people do to chicks to keep them from pecking each other to death.... I suppose that helps, but some of their beaks are so deformed and blunt I am not sure how they eat anything not mashed!!
So, any advice at all on what I can do for these poor birds, to decrease stress if that is the problem, and increase egg production, hopefully b4 spring.... we are fully enjoying our little farm project... had to do a lot of convincing to the hubby the benefits of chickens is not only educational but, the delicious eggs that will come with them..... :) I think if they were not losing feathers at this young age, along with not laying I would not worry..... just put time as the factor... they are not ready yet etc.... However, the few eggs initially, then the no eggs, and now feather dropping is what has me confused..... Thanks for any and all responses!