Friday, 7 November 2008

Feathers are flying

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the chickens begin to moult. I always thought animals (and birds?) moult in the summer and then grow more fur or feathers in the winter for the colder months. It seems not. Apparently they shed their summer feathers ready to grow a thicker coat of feathers for winter.

Gina started shedding first, leaving a trail of rust brown feathers in the garden and then Georgie started to follow leaving most of hers inside the coop, in the area where she sleeps (usually on top of Gina!). There's feathers everywhere (they are really pretty in colour and pattern) and she looks practically bald on her chest. They look very unkept and scraggy, but I do believe the shedding is slowing down now, so hopefully they'll begin to look a little healthier.

I was a little worried about it all to begin with, this, plus the fact that they've both completely halted in their egg production. Having to buy eggs again is a bit of a shock, I can't believe how they've gone up in price in the supermarkets (I can't always rely on our local egg producer, obviously she's having hen problems too). However, I see from "Down the Lane" (one of my favourite websites/forum/blog all about frugal living), tells me this is all natural, so I worry no more.


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