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The saddest lil’ chicken in the flock

Oh, god, look at that chicken! She’s fine. I mean she’s bitchier than an imperial crap-load of instant PMS cubes, but that, ladies and gentlemen, is a perfectly natural end-of-season chicken moult.

There’s supposedly a relationship between egg laying and moulting. The better the layer, the faster and more complete the moult. Then a good hen brushes herself off, grows new feathers and gets back to the business of laying eggs.

My girls usually shed a feather or two but otherwise sail through the moult looking okay, but they aren’t exactly cham-peen egg producers. Lucia puts a little more oomph into it, as befits Head Chicken.

Those awesome professional egg-a-day hybrid layers supposedly drop all their feathers in one big go, and you find them next morning clinging to the perch looking like an oven-ready roaster.

Violet didn’t go quite like that, but it was the most spectacular moult I’ve seen. The henhouse was like they’d had a pillow fight in there — feathers EVERYwhere.

And there she was, smoldering in the back of the run, giving me her best stink-eye. I think this process must be pretty uncomfortable, because she’s in an incredibly shitty mood. And she’s not a nice chicken to begin with. We don’t call her Violence for naught.

Anyway — yes, she was easily my best layer this Summer. Here she is in happier times — like, two months ago.

A hard moult is just the price you have to pay to be Miss Awesome Comb 2013.

September 23, 2013 — 9:12 pm
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