This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

chickens are molting

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My chickens have started molting. The coop is covered with feathers. I guess they are shedding their dirty summer feather and will grow in fluffy new down coats for winter. I'm told it takes a lot of protein to molt and they don't lay eggs during this time. I'm down to one egg a day. Only because the youngest (Roxy: my barred Rock) hasn't started her molt yet.

Today, I'll try to remember to get their winter light set up. I put a standard 40 watt bulb in the coop on a timer so they get about 12 hours of light a day, with the extra time in the morning. It gets dark about 6 pm now, so it should come on at 6 am. (6 am to 9 am)

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Blogger Cathy Miller said...

Two of my hens are molting -- what a mess -- feathers everywhere! And their timing couldn't be worse -- molt now in mid-October? So they've all stopped laying eggs and are just working on growing fresh new feathers. The 3rd hen doesn't molt until Thanksgiving. She's done this pretty consistently so she survives. Wonder what triggers molting? Seems like it should happen in summer when its warm and being without feathers wouldn't be so bad. But I guess I shouldn't complain -- these hens are between 3 to 4 years old and still lay eggs -- even if they stopped completely, they are still pets and will live out the rest of their days in safety.

October 19, 2015 9:38 AM


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