Monday, October 24, 2011

If I lose my way to the barn...


Or to the side porch (and my garden flip flops)...

Or if I need to quickly determine where Honey is spending her days:

And having her afternoon siestas:

All I have to do is follow the trail of feathers she has started leaving behind:



Poor girl.

Virtually every step she takes results in feathers flinging themselves from her body:

The annual molting that chickens go through around this time each year is such a strange thing. It seems bizarre and extreme, but it doesn't seem to phase them much.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the garage to fill the dog food container. Five minutes later, I came back to a trail of feathers leading up to my front door and Honey, looking quite cozy, on the porch mat:

The funny thing is, with as many feathers as she has lost, she still doesn't look nearly as bad as some of my other hens. Spongebob, for instance, who is also a Buff Orpington like Honey, has completely lost her tail feathers:

And Thumper...

Well, poor Thumper is just a mess:

At the rate Honey's going, though...

She may be naked before too much longer:

But I'm sure getting some cool pictures:

I hope she knows how much I appreciate her efforts.

23 comments:

LindaG said...

Wow. I was afraid something really bad had happened for a moment. Glad you explained that.
Thanks for sharing all the pictures, too. :)

Christine said...

Of all the different breeds I've had the Buffs always look the best when moulting. She's a great exterior decorator.

pilgrimscottage said...

Love this post. The photos are just great and shows the story well.

CeeCee said...

Back when I had as many chickens as you do, it used to look like a cartoon chicken had blown up in my yard. Feathers, feathers everywhere! Glad Honey is growing them in as fast as she's losing them.

MTWaggin said...

Chick Feathers - almost as good as cookie crumbs to find your way home! :)

Autumn said...

Honey sure gets around these days! What an adventure chicken...

the7msn said...

The feathers are flying down here, too. And egg production has dwindled right along with it, darn it. I may be serving store-bought omelettes to anyone who shows up for breakfast in the near future.

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

One of my Buffs has lost all her tail feathers. She looks like someone chopped off her tail. I put a photo of a moulting chicken taking a dirt bath on my blog today. It's the season.

Annette said...

Sunny looks great despite molting. Ours all look awful at the moment.

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Wow, I had no idea that chickens do that, especially at this time of year. You'd think they'd need those feathers as the weather is getting quite chilly. Thanks for the clue, because who knows how I might freak out if I didn't know this fact ahead of time.

But, the good part is, you do have some awesome "frameable" pictures!

Lilla said...

We have the same thing going on here, but with only one hen - our Nutmeg. She looks much worse than your Thumper. The back of her neck is bare quills. Neal says she looks like a turkey instead of a chicken. Why is it that some hens molt in cold weather and some in warm weather, I wonder?

Sarah said...

oh! That picture of your sandles on yoru porch, and my first though was "SOMETHING GOT HONEY!" Glad she is ok. Honey has GOT to write some kids books about her life and adventures! I'd buy them, and I don't even have kids!

Karen Anne said...

Not having chickens, I see this with the blue jays and cardinals. Some lose almost all their head feathers while the rest of their bodies look okay,

Kelly said...

I hope Honey doesn't get naked. I have a couple of hens who really, I mean really look like they were attacked. Naked I tell you, just plain naked.

Farmer Jen said...

She looks good! Love your photos.

Zitrone said...

I'm sure glad Honey didn't go through this process while she was here. I would have felt so responsible and would have lost all my feathers in sympathy.

JaneK said...

oh my goodness; I'm not sure I get mother nature's timing on this one... don't they get cold??? poor little chickens!

dragonfly.garden said...

I just love all the stories about Honey - what a beautiful girl she is! Every so often when I head out to our coop, there will be enough feathers on the ground OUTside of the pen that I am sure I'm going to find a something horrible. I never have, but all their feathers seem to explode on the same day. Still no nekid hens, but I'm waiting for the day! :)

Sue, Joe and Michael Webber said...

I had a chook lose all of her feather once! All I needed was some sage and onion stuffing and she would have been ready to go in the oven!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

ahhhhh...poor honey!!! where will honey winter over? i agree...honey is a book that needs to be written!!!

Lisa said...

Thumper looks as bad as some of my other EE girls do. My BO are looking even worse. Thankfully I am seeing feather growth for the poor naked girls. Glad Honey is ok:-)

Carolynn said...

Right before a change to colder weather seems like an odd time to lose feathers, but what do I know? Honey still has the cutest butt ever.

Valerie said...

How strange that they moult just as cold weather is approaching!