We had a lovely time chez English yesterday, spouting “fowl language” (again, I have to credit Kristina for this cheeky pun), noshing, and dishing all things poultry. Thank you so very much Natalie, Kirsten, Rebecca, Grace, Jenn, and Erika for making the trek out here and sharing your time, resources and lovely selves with me, Hubs and Huxley.
I thought I’d take a quick minute and show those of you that might perhaps be unfamiliar with, or new to, “molting” what it looks like. For most chickens, late summer/early autumn heralds the arrival of their annual “molt,” when, just like a snake sheds its skin, they shed their feathers.
They don’t look pretty during this period. Far from it. In fact, they look downright ugly, bless their hideous hearts. Some birds shed their plumage quickly, while for others it’s a more drawn-out process. During this period, they typically won’t be producing eggs, as the calcium that would otherwise be used to form an eggshell is going into the production of quill formation. So, don’t fret if you one day notice your otherwise glorious Brahma or stunning Welsummer start to look like a sad, scrawny bird. It’s totally natural. Pathetic looking, but natural, nonetheless.
In this photo you can see the barbed wire Hubs erected last winter, after a series of determined, intrepid raccoon attacks. We now refer to the coop as “Chicken Fort Knox.” It’s a fortress, pretty much.
Huxley decided he was tapped out on hanging exclusively with his Papa by this point in the day (we’d been chatting and eating for over 3 hours by then), so he joined me at the last leg of the coop tour.
I can’t begin to truly express just how much I’m enjoying teaching classes out here. It’s such a treasure to be able to put faces and personalities with some of small measure’s readers. Look for more classes in late winter/early spring, when we’ll do up some dairy and catch a buzz on beekeeping.
Wherever you are, whatever you’re up to, may it be grand!