Oven-ready Esme?

A very fluffy nest!

A very fluffy nest!

I opened the laying box the other morning to be greeted by a veritable feather bed. I was hoping for an egg or two, but I found what appeared to be half a chicken… and the sight of a slightly balding bottom disappearing out of the pop hole. The colour was a give-away… these feathers clearly belong to a speckledy hen, of which we have two. A quick check revealed one very smart Perdy and one very tatty Esme… ruffling her feathers, apart from dislodging a few more, revealed quite an expanse of completely bald skin. In addition, her tail now consists of a random assemblage of feathers pointing in odd directions. She’s also much more anti-social than usual and quite reluctant to be photographed in her disheveled state. This is the best I could manage:

Oh dear, what a mess!

Oh dear, what a mess!

And since then, she’s only got worse. What a silly time to be losing all your feathers – over the past week we have had storms, gale force winds and lashing rain. It seems like the ideal time to have already grown a brand new coat of feathers, just like Lorna the Calder Ranger (yes, she’s the Lorna Ranger), who moulted some weeks ago in September and is now looking very dapper:

Lorna showing off her shiny new feathers

Lorna showing off her shiny new feathers and black-tipped tail

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7 Comments

  1. Lovely ladies even malty Esma! I love to see happy chickens!

    Reply
    • I’m hoping the three fully feathered ones are keeping Esme warm… otherwise I’m going to have to knit her a coat!
      I too love the fact that they are doing what they do naturally… happy eggs are the best!

      Reply
  2. definately! 🙂

    Reply
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