I noticed that our leghorn chicken (the white one) was looking a little sparse in the feathers around her neck the other day, but Britton just kind of dismissed it. Then, I went into the greenhouse to fill up their water and it looked like someone had had a pillowfight in there. There were white feathers everywhere! She is looking pretty ragged and I am pretty certain that she is molting. Why in the world would a chicken molt when it is negative 15 degrees? Don’t ask me, but she is…She has also stopped laying eggs which is common in the winter anyway to conserve energy when it is cold and also because they don’t lay eggs when molting. (We actually had to buy eggs for the first time since August so I could make chocolate chip cookies.)
Now that she doesn’t have quite the same level of “down coat” that she did before, I am a little more worried about her in the cold. We might run an extension cord and a light bulb for heat. My dad says to put a box, even a cardboard box in there with hay and a blanket or towel over it so they can conserve heat. The problem is that they still like to get up high at night and roost on the board or roosting stick we put up there. If we can get through this cold part of winter, I think they will be tougher for it…
Here are a few more pictures around the yard and neighborhood.
Fog over the lake out back
Kitty walking up the path to the house