Tuesday, November 13, 2012

losing it

Some days we thing the predators are winning. It can be discouraging to see the remains of chickens we have worked hard to raise. Fox, raccoon, possum, skunk, dog, cat, snake...all love to grab and take away parts or all of a chicken. Hawks and owls too.

And then sometimes we realize that the hens are just losing it. We have not actually lost any birds, they have just gone into a molt, and the feathers they have shedded as they make way for new ones are what is blowing around the farm.

In one day, the ground inside this pen was stripped bare of grass and lined completely with feathers. The girls are losing it, for certain.

But why? Why as it goes into the coldest time of year do they do this, and do so every year? We guess that they shed lighter, summer feathers and grow in heavier, warmer feathers. They will need them, and soon.

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