I was chatting with a regular patron in the library yesterday afternoon. She also keeps chickens and commented that she was stockpiling her eggs in anticipation of her girls moulting.
... I knew they did that, but I kinda forgot. Oops. Would I hafta start buying eggs again for a while?
Apparently, Chickens stop laying and then loose all their feathers before resuming their egg laying again. This happens every year. Usually in the fall, but it is technically a response to extended egg laying or other stress on the chickens nutritional needs. As such, young hens who just started laying usually don't moult their first fall (whew!) because the egg laying has yet to take its toll on their bodies and because chicks moult 3x in their first 6 months.
So, I'm in the clear this fall. I've learned something new, and HOPEFULLY, I'll remember in time to do some stockpiling of my own come next fall.