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…