Sunday, November 1, 2015

Those Good-For-Nothing Chickens: A Love Story

Our girls are a year and a half old now, and sometime in late June they began their very first molting session. (If you want to see some extremely sad looking hens, Google "chicken molting.")

I had read articles online about the amount of feathers chicken owners have in their yards during molt season. One blogger described it as looking like "a group of teenage girls had a pillow fight." Seemed awfully dramatic to me. For some reason, I believed our ladies would only lose a feather here or there, largely retaining their beguiling avian beauty.

And to some degree, they did. All of them lost their tail feathers. Carrie Birdshaw lost some on her head. Charlotte had a bald butt for awhile. And Samantha's chin looked like she had stolen it from elderly man for a couple weeks. Yet, Miranda, our beautiful red (and neurotic) Welsummer stayed perfectly intact for months. Then, almost overnight, she turned into this...

Poor, pathetic little baldypants. It makes me laugh and want to cry a little every time I see her foraging in the backyard like that. Haggard little creature....

In addition to most corners of our yard, the coop and the run looking like this        —>      —>
we have also been egg-deprived for weeks. Carrie Birdshaw has not laid an egg in over 4 months. Charlotte and Miranda  slowed down, but were still giving us at least a few a week— and now both of them have stopped altogether, too. The only girl earning her keep around here is my sweet, sweet Sammy. Nearly every day, we find one of her blue-green eggs in the nesting box. I love that chicken.

Mr. W and I have been joking about how we're going to turn them into soup if they keep up this hiatus. But even if none of them ever go back to laying full time (although I really, really, really hope they do because we miss our farm fresh eggs) we'll continue to treat them just like any other pet. Why? If only because of how incredibly adorable they are when they take dirt baths. I mean, seriously...

I haven't seen the four of them all bathing together like that since they were babies. My heart almost exploded when I walked outside and found them all snuggled together.

And the fact that they look like little heavy-eyed weed addicts just makes it even better. Total stoners. (This was before Miranda started shedding, by the way.) 

I swear they go into a trance when they're "in the tub." Carrie even played dead for a minute.

Antics like these are what will make us keep chickens for the long haul. Eggs or no eggs, they provide great entertainment. And if I ever decide to open a pillow factory, once a year I'm going to be more than set on my supply of feathers...



  1. Replies
    1. It'll never happen. But if it does, we'll invite you over for dinner.

  2. My Sister raises chickens and has two pigs. Her husband named them breakfast and lunch. :( I would starve. Love your chicks names by the way.

    1. Haha I shouldn't laugh but that's pretty funny. We would never be able to raise animals we were going to eat. I fall in love with them too fast!


Well, whatdya think?