I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Monday, November 17, 2014

No eggs, just feathers.

Things are pretty slow in the chicken coop these days. It's time for THE MOLT.

Not having farm fresh eggs is a bummer. (Yes, we are spoiled.)
Squeaky would if she could, but she's in a permanent "molt" called old age.
No more eggs for this old gal.
She just eats and follows me around complaining about the big, bully hens that won't leave her alone.
She's such a sweet little hen. I love bantams. They are the laid back peace makers of the chicken world.

I try to feed her separately. First I feed the big hens outside... then ( and Squeaky knows this) I keep some scratch just for her and when I go around to the other door she is already inside waiting for me to clear a spot on the floor and give her some grains... just for my chicken little.
Of course as soon as I do, in comes big, bossy Miss Plymouth Rock...
She struts her coolest, most badass self into the hen house and scares Squeaky away. If I'm still inside, I tell her to leave and scoot her back outside so Squeak' can have a few moments of peace and quiet  before they all come in to see what's going on.
Miss Rock just gives me that, "What am I doing?" look and ...
leaves, until she sees me walk down the hill. Then she goes inside and finishes the scratch. She's a bully bird. The other hens are looking pretty scruffy right now, but Miss Rock looks great... and she's no Spring Chicken. She's a beautiful, big girl and she knows it.

The other day I told them to molt fast and get back to laying eggs, 'cause they could always be dinner... AND, if truth be told, I need to be able to eat raw chocolate chip cookie dough while I'm making cookies.It's one of my traditions. I can't do this with store bought eggs.

 The next morning I found this...
Do you think it was a statement?


(Losing feathers and re-growing them is called molting and occurs every year when the days get shorter.
 For chickens, shorter days and cooler temperatures are a sign that it is time to renew their feathers. This usually lasts for a month or more with our chickens. It's been two weeks so far.)