Friday, November 11, 2011

Mass Exodus


There is a point in every day that is awaited with great anticipation:

The chicken joy that spills forth when I open the chicken run door:

...is a burst of quick, noisy and intense:

In a matter of seconds:

everyone disperses in separate directions:

...to scratch, peck, dig, dust bathe, chase, and explore:

Roopert the rooster is always the last to leave, observing and noting the direction each of his girls has gone:

But, of late, one hen hangs behind:

It's poor Cowgirl. She is in full molt and just stands around shivering:

I am hoping she doesn't lose too many more feathers. I worry about her keeping warm:

And her similarity to a plucked chicken is beginning to unnerve me a bit:


26 comments:

And This Little Pig said...

I'm sure Cowgirl will have plenty of lovely warm feathers before it get to cold... Chicken sweater?
LiBBiE in Ox

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

I had one who was naked for MONTHS after last year's molt. I don't know how she survived, but she's fluffy and fine now. Her name is Sassy. I gave her extra yogurt when I finally saw her feathers coming in, for a boost in protein.

We have the same mass exodus here and an upset flock if I make them wait due to fog or rain.

Bibi said...

Oh, poor little girl...couldn't you knit her a vest, Danni?

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Letting our "girls" out is something we'd love to do, however a pair of hawks live in the tree nearby and we're a bit skittish about the idea. Maybe someday we'll be brave.

Poor cowgirl . . . I sure hope those new feathers grow back soon!

Kelly said...

Poor chilly bird. How about a nice wool coat? We are shearing Monday. ;)

LindaG said...

Goodness. I hope she gets new feathers soon, too! :)

Florida Farm Girl said...

Poor girl! Moulting chickens do look bedraggled, don't they?

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Poor cowgirl. My little kathy has one sad little tail feather right now so her behind is looking a whole lot like cowgirl's. :)

Sue, Joe and Michael Webber said...

Knit her a chook sweater! :D

Lisa said...

I refer to it as a chicken stampede. I have over 40 chickens to let go. My hubby thought I was exaggerating until I got him to let them go one morning. Yeah, he got the idea.

That's one bad molt.

Inger said...

Poor Cowgirl, I see what you mean and hope she will get new feathers soon. Do they molt right before winter? I know nothing about chickens, but I do know a handsome rooster when I see one and Rupert is gorgeous.

Dreaming said...

Poor Cowgirl. Yes, she does look a bit errr... naked! Didn't I read about someone who make a coat for their chicken? Maybe not... when I tried to look it up on the Internet I just found (shhh... don't tell her) recipes for coatings for chicken. Oops!

Farmer Jen said...

Feathers can also be rubbed off during mating by the rooster's feet. If Cowgirl is one of Roopert's favorites, he may be giving her a little too much attention for her own good.

Autumn said...

Molting chickens definitely funny-looking! I hope she grows some new ones pretty soon!

Zitrone said...

Did someone say something about "knitting"?
I am between knitting projects right now. How many sweaters will your girls need?

Razzberry Corner said...

Last year my Lucy was naked for months! But finally, in spring, her feathers came in!!! Good luck Cowgirl!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh no...cowgirl needs a chicken snuggly!

JaneK said...

poor little Cowgirl!

you must video that mass exodus for us! I bet that is a daily ritual that brings much laughter!!

Sarah said...

don't they just look pathetic when they're molting? Makes you want to go put clothes on them or something. Hope her new feathers come in soon!

Karen Anne said...

CaliforniaGrammy,

Maybe a chicken run with a fence over the top?

Morning Bray Farm said...

Ok, I'm wondering... why is it that chickens molt when the weather is turning cold? Why don't they molt when the weather is getting warmer? I've always been confused by that. Just wondering...

Chris said...

Yup, I agree....Cowgirl needs a chicken snuggy!! Didn't someone say they could knit her one?? Send it right away!! Hurry...she'd look great in RED!! :)

Karen Anne said...

Morning Bray Farm,

The birds on my deck seem to (1) raise young, (2) moult. Then it's Fall/Winter. I think some of them just run out of time. I suspect feather replacement takes nutrients and energy, so it couldn't precede having and raising young, since that's a big nutrient.energy sink.

Just my theory.

linda m said...

Cowgirl's butt is hysterical.

Want Less said...

Great photos... I enjoy this moment every morning too :) Our rooster (Jacques) is always the first out of the pen. He darts out, spins around, and stands at attention at the door watching all of his ladies file past him like its his own personal parade. It's so predictable and makes me giggle every morning.

Leigh said...

LOL. Reminds me of how my flock looks when it's time for evening scratch. Every chicken hanging around the gate in anticipation! I think Cowgirl's moult is the barest I've ever seen, poor thing.