Stewart is finally getting bigger than the ladies! He’s looking a lot more like a rooster! Unfortunately molting season came and everyone lost their feathers. Now that feathers are growing back the ladies are starting to look lovely again. But what’s this? Stewart seems to be missing something……… His Tail! Now why isn’t Stewies tail big and tall like a real rooster? After a few weeks of pitying the poor boy I figured out what was wrong. The ladies are taking to pulling his tail feather out! How do they do that? They literally get behind him and check out his butt. If there are any baby pin feathers on his rear end, they grab it with their beak and pluck it out! It’s terrible to watch! This big proud rooster not even running away and squeaking at every pull! Stand up for yourself Stewart! Don’t let these ladies take away your rooster-hood!
There is nothing more scary than walking into the chicken coop one morning and seeing feathers EVERYWHERE! The first thing you think is where is my dead chicken?! Then there is a sigh of relief when you find everyone accounted for.
So what the heck happened overnight? Molting season! It looked like some chickens dropped 1/2 their feathers. The ladies used to be so fluffy with sleek, bright colored feathers with a nice glow in the sun. Not anymore they don’t! The buff colored Orphingtons are left with shaggy whitish colored down. The Black Australorps looked more grey and some feathers even had white ends. No iridescent blue when the sun hits them. The Easter Eggers? Well they looked a little sad but nothing compared to those terrible buffs! The lower picture is what our little lady looked like before molting in the picture above it. What a terrible time of year to go full tilt molt! Right in the middle winter!
I started the morning raking up feathers but by the time I was done they had dropped just as many! We are just going to have to deal with the feathers until the molt is over.
Without the feathers you can see how skinny some of these hens really were. Being an overprotective hen mom I had the vet take a look and she told me some were a little thin and they needed a little extra vitamins and protein to get them past this late molt. So that’s what I did. Gave them vitamin water, meal worms and sunflower seeds. All the fixins for fixing feathers!
There was a fast recovery after all the good snacking. Good thing too! We has some subzero weather and they really needed those feathers to keep them warm! Just in the nick of time!
See the ladies checking out all the feathers on their YouTube Channel: