Friday, 10 March 2017

Chicken Diaries - Moulting season!

Egg production has fallen right off and going down with it are feathers!

I can easily recognise Spotty's brown feathers all over the place, but there are also white feathers around too. Mary's egg laying has decreased too, probably 2-3 per week, but Cacciatore continues to lay profusely with 4-5 eggs a week still. Bubbles is also laying, with 2 eggs per week. Her eggs are getting a bit bigger too.

Chickens moult in Autumn, and because of the amount of energy and protein it takes to make new feathers, they can't make eggs. That's fine though. I have bought some mealworms to supplement their protein requirements and I'm wondering if I should start up my own mealworm farm. 

I've seen pictures of chickens in a full moult (called a hard moult), where they look very threadbare. This is not my chicken but you get the idea.

My chickens don't look like that though. They seem to have lost their tails and their neck feathers a bit - which is called a soft moult. You would probably not know they were moulting if you hadn't seen the feathers that are scattered all over the place which make it look like some fox got into the hen house.

Regardless, it appears that it will take them 2 months to get their egg laying back. I may have to cut down on egg giveaways because we are only just keeping up with our demand.

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