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This woeful beastie is Mapp Chicken, today. I really should have snapped a photo a couple of days ago — you can see here, the pinfeathers are already well grown on her neck. Monday, her neck was as nekkid as an oven-ready broiler.

And her tail! Just a sad nub of pink flesh (that thing we call the Preacher’s Nose and the Brits call the Parson’s Nose – or is it the other way around?).

Reminder: Mapp as she was meant to be. Sexy, sexy bird.

Molting is triggered by the first cold snap. It signals chickens to stop laying eggs, drop their feathers and divert all the protein they would have devoted to egg-laying into feather-building. It means they’re all fully feathered up and cozy by the time the real cold weather hits.

But it also means they face the first cold of the season part naked with uncomfortable quills sticking out of their tender places. They’re cranky as shit.

Which birds molt and how completely is affected by a variety of factors. It’s a rule of thumb that the better the layer, the more quickly and thoroughly the molt. Commercial layers — the kind bred to lay an egg a day for the first year — apparently lose them all at once, overnight. You go down in the morning and find a coop full of feathers and a bunch of joke shop rubber chickens on the perch.

Think of that, and this picture when you see photos of ‘abused’ birds from factory farms — this is what even a pampered family pet looks like during a partial molt.

Good weekend, and keep yer feathers on!


Comment from Janna
Time: October 21, 2016, 7:56 pm

Zombie chicken!!

Comment from OldFert
Time: October 21, 2016, 10:42 pm

We, being Catholics, called it a Pope’s Crown (given that the featherless tail looks a lot like the mitre the Pope wears). In later years my dad would refer to it as Popes’ Nose.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: October 21, 2016, 11:16 pm

@OldFert – Heh! And my grandmother, being Suh-thun Bapppiss, positively sneered when she also called it the pope’s nose (she never would have capitalized “Pope” if she had been forced by circumstances to write such a word).

Here in on the Gulf coast of Florida, that thing is generally called “bait”.

Comment from Mitchell
Time: October 21, 2016, 11:55 pm

Fortunately I always keep my feathers numbered…

Comment from Crabby Old Bat
Time: October 22, 2016, 12:45 am

You need to tack some chintz poppies on that bird, stat.

Comment from OldFert
Time: October 22, 2016, 2:37 am

Uncle Al — We’d use chicken necks for crab bait when I lived in Virginia. Tie a string around them, slowly bring up the crab to the surface, and scoop ’em up with a dip net. Never tried Pope’s crowns for bait themselves, though. (My dad used to claim the turkey’s Pope’s crown as part of his Thanksgiving meal. Not much meat on that thing.)

Comment from JC
Time: October 22, 2016, 5:53 am

James Joyce has a character refer to it as “Pope’s Nose”.

Comment from HL King
Time: October 22, 2016, 11:20 am

Moar Chikkin Posts, Please!

I’ll be moving into this place pretty soon:


That fuzzy thing between the house (absolutely massive compared to my current ~2,400 sq ft ranch style home in the ‘burbs) and the barn is a chicken coop (click the left arrow twice for a slightly better view). I can already fry, roast, & BBQ ’em well enough to make a human squeal with delight, so I’m gonna learn about the other part of their lives and try my hand at raising a few.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: October 22, 2016, 12:39 pm

How wd you like it if Uncle B took photos of you when you looked your absolute worse and put them on the internet?

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: October 22, 2016, 9:08 pm

I am in full sympathy with the chickens. Two days ago it was 90 degrees in San Antonio, and last night Husband and I had a tug-o-war over the bed covers (a top sheet and a seersucker bedspread). This morning I turned off the bedroom ceiling fan, which had been running since last March.

Comment from Mr. Dave
Time: October 24, 2016, 11:48 am

Tom Hayden dead.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: October 24, 2016, 4:50 pm

I see where the brits are issuing a special 50p piece celebrating the Norman Invasion. Really? They invade you! If Hitler had invaded the UK would you celebrate it 900 years from now?

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: October 24, 2016, 5:20 pm

A very nice twitter feed on Medieval Brit history. Lots of photos of abandoned villages and corny Shakespearean jokes:


Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: October 25, 2016, 4:33 am

“Tom Hayden dead.”…

Dingdangdoubledarn –

I s’pose this doesn’t count as “close enuff” for the Dead Pool that I have had his nasty Red-ass ex-spouse – like – fore – evah!!, right?

Word Up to The Fates: You.Frickin’.Missed!– The one he mated with (Eeeuughh!! Think I jes’ frew up a li’l in mah mouf…) and toured Veet Nam (Northern Region) with, whilst she sat on that NewKnightedStates pilot-killin’ gun thingy…adjust yo’ aim, if’n ya please!


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