Monday, November 19, 2012
After the Molt
My chickens are at the tail end of their molt. It's not very fair of me, but I often have an ungrateful attitude during this time. I buy eggs at the store. I buy chicken feed. What's wrong with that? I think: where are my eggs? So ungrateful. I should instead think, good job, chickens! Enjoy your nice leisurely molt! Poor things, they do it in the freezing cold. My chickens don't lose their feather entirely, and I often don't even realize they're molting until the eggs stop coming and the coop is filled with their feathers. Some chickens get completely naked, but not mine. They are demure.
I was thrilled to get this egg a few days ago, but I haven't seen another one yet. In the meantime, I'm feeding them well and making sure they get to grub around in the late afternoon. There are some industrious hawks around here that have been making dinner of the neighbors' chickens. Lately I've been giving the hens safflower seeds, because they are high in fat and apparently squirrels don't like them. The chickens eat the safflower seeds so fast, I don't think the squirrels have a chance. Big fat squirrels have been dining in the coop daily. I throw pine cones at them, but they are not phased.
I also gave the chickens some suet the other day, thinking people feed wild birds suet in the winter, why not my chickens? After researching to make sure this wasn't harmful, I sprinkled some chopped suet in their pen. I have never seen them go crazier for anything excepting scrambled eggs, which they LOVE. Funny, right?