Oh, HALEY. Naked edition.

I had though Haley was looking truly awful lately, until I saw her up close. That’s when I realised how much worse the situaiton is than I had thought. There is an advantage to being first, because she’s molting now while it’s still relatively warm. But…DUDE. It is not pretty.

But wait! There’s more!!

I’ve noticed lately that the red feathers all over the…everywhere…are getting darker, and with splashes of black. And now, it all begins to make sense, because I now have physical evidence that Hermione is molting. Well, at least she’s not hiding her eggs somewhere. Again.

This morning, I noticed that she’s down to just a couple of tail feathers:

And Haley looks like this:

The camera is lying to you; it looks so much worse in real life, and in motion…it’s truly appalling. Poor girl! Poor naked girl!!

I decided to get a really good look at her this morning, and she was not happy about that, let me assure you. When a hen isn’t laying, for whatever reason, she does NOT want her rooster anywhere near her. (Am I right, ladies?)

After cornering her in the courtyard, kicking and screaming (her, not me), I placed her on the barbecue lid (stop it, Gail; stop it right now) so I could get some close ups. Speed was of the essence:

For those non-chickeneers out there, chickens are losing feathers all the time, to no visible effect; it takes a great deal of feather loss to show like this. Haley has always been a bit on the ragged side, but this?!

New in the past day, she is beginning to show signs of feather loss on her head and face:

But there is hope, gentle reader! Do not despair! Haley is also showing signs of her new feathers coming in:

I will be switching over to a turkey grower feed next week, which has a much higher percentage of protein. I am hoping (against your experience, Aoxa), that this might speed the refeathering process and get the girls decently clothed and back to laying.

Because, I am loathe to report, the egg situation is bad. It has taken me five days to fill an order for a dozen eggs. That’s just embarrassing. Yes, 2.0 is beginning to lay regularly, but the eggs are smalls and mediums. I only include larges and extra-larges in the carton when I sell eggs.

So, we are in a gap, of sorts, an egg gap, if you will. I begin to see why some people get chicks in March…


7 thoughts on “Oh, HALEY. Naked edition.

  1. Oh that is not bad at all!

    Look at Honey. If you lift her wings, she looks like a processed chicken. Poor Honey.. LOL My first molt is under-way as well! Feathers are all over the property. Not to mention one of my molting silkies has decided to go broody as well. She looks awful. How am I supposed to take cute mommy/baby pictures with her looking a mess.

    Against my experience? Protein does help speed up molt. I feed lots of treats high in protein during this time of year :D We had a chicken that was not properly cooked – and they all had some. Chickens are not vegetarians, and it’s on the treat chart – I thought it was cruel until I saw their faces when they had their first bite. Better not to waste in my opinion.

    I think I will be putting everyone on a higher protein feed as well. As high as I can without affecting the price too badly. I found another local store that offers feed $1 cheaper a bag. When you go through 12 bags of feed (at least) a month, that’s worth thinking about.

      • Took me a few readings to get that you hadn’t cooked one of your own chickens. We don’t feed chicken to the chickens here. It makes no rational sense, but we just think it’s icky.

      • So did (and still do a bit) I. They don’t agree with me on that ;) You should have seen the frenzy. My dogs eat chicken. My cats eat chicken. Chickens aren’t vegetarians by any means. I’ve seen them eat many rodents/dead animals. Actually just recently they ate a squirrel that was run over in the driveway. Strange creatures.

      • Oh, they do get some meat, I just can’t feed them chicken. I tried to give them a dead mouse once but they didn’t go for it. Now, THAT would be useful!

      • I’ve seen them catch a live mouse (a rooster) and he killed it instantly and continued to run around playing keep away by himself. I found a little grey mouse in the corn bin and stuck Penny in with it, but she just ate the corn.. They are only useful when you aren’t looking :P

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