The chickens are now in a variety of stages of molting. Some still have smooth, bald backs and some are all filled in with lovely fresh new feathers. There is plenty in between with the porcupine spikes of new feathers growing in and the floating clumps of newly molted downy feathers in the colors of the two chickens who were not yet bald have appeared blowing around the corners of the chicken run in the November wind.
“Beauty” was so forlorn for the last two months, huddled in a corner feeling miserable as her new feathers started peeping out. Now, she is once again becoming the most beautiful of the whole flock with only a small patch of spikes remaining in wait of their magical moment of fluffing out. She seems to be gaining some confidence again, although she has sunk to the bottom of the pecking order. I have to toss a little extra corn in her direction so she can get her share because everyone snaps at her when she tries to get in on the pecking cluster.
I took a pumpkin out to the chicken run to see what they’d do with it. It sat for days, undisturbed, and I was surprised they did not have their way with it. Then I walked around to the front and found that they’d pecked holes so they could reach their heads in and clean out the seeds and slimy pumpkin guts.
By now, it is nothing but a curled up bottom shell and no longer interesting to them. I’ll have to come up with some new entertainment.
I was pleased that the egg production started coming back up in volume, but we had a setback and are getting only brown eggs now, the three blue egg-layers seemingly on strike. I’ll be relieved when everything is back to normal and I can go back to sharing with my friends.