Sunday, October 21, 2012

Holy Molting Batman!

Ok, here is what real molting looks like in a chicken:

Poor Elsie...
It actually looks like a kill site.
She is losing feathers so fast, everywhere she goes, she leaves a trail behind her.  There are a ton in the run, a ton under her roosting area, and a bunch in the nesting box.  I had read about some chickens molting really quickly and looking nearly bald for a couple days, but now that it's happening one of ours, I'm kinda freaking out. 

She's been kinda antisocial and is really against us touching her.  I think she's pretty uncomfortable.  We're not really planning on touching her either since when Shawn tried to pick her up, he ended up with a handful of feathers and an angry hen running away.  I really hope they grow back soon.

Pearl and Abby are also showing signs of molting since some of their feathers are mixed in to the pile, but for now, Elsa is beating all of them with her severity.  Maybe they'll catch up soon.  Man, I'm going to have a bunch of bald chickens!  And why do they do this in the fall and winter when it is starting to get cold?  Nature can be so silly sometimes...

Oh, and Frannie is much the same.  She actually looks better than Elsa does at this point.  We've been dusting her with DE for the last several weeks and there hasn't really been much change.  At this rate, if her feathers don't grow back, I may have to knit her a pair of pants.  (...and that visual makes me laugh out loud.)  Since no change has occurred since we started dusting her, Shawn and I have come to the conclusion that she is probably in the perpetual state of getting ready to go broody.  We think she just wants to be a mommy so bad that she continues to get her belly ready to sit on some eggs whenever they show up.  I'm willing to bet money that if we were to leave an egg in the nest for her, she would start sitting on it.  But then we would have a bigger problem on our hands so that won't be happening.  Oh hormones, what do we do with you?

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