Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hunkering Down

It's now mid-October and the girls have entered their annual 3 month period when they shed their feathers and take a break from laying eggs. The coop looks like a cross between a war zone and a craft project gone awry. Feathers, feathers, and more feathers. What a cruel twist of nature that just as the temperature starts to drop the girls lose their coats. Humans would never tolerate this!

The girls are actually good natured during this molting time and carry on as usual, though with a bit more scratching. They happily trot back into the coop a few minutes earlier each night as the sun dips down. No more waiting for the girls to go to bed so I can! We've had a few skunk sightings at dusk over the past month so I'm extra careful as I trudge across the yard making sure the white playground ball is not the almost completely white skunk. We've also not seen Butchie, our resident ground hog, for two weeks now. I miss him and had been working the past few months to get him used to the sound of my voice ("Hi Butchie, Hi Buthcie"). I was making real progress...even the girls adjusted to Butchie's presence and some days they all happily grazed under the bird feeders, waiting for seeds to drop. I can't even begin to think what the neighbors think as "Hi Butchie" echos from inside and outside the house on a regular basis. Maybe Butchie thought he was being stalked...

The loss of fresh eggs is the real tragedy during the fall - ok, that might be too strong. I can't fault the girls for needing a break and I always worry that they'll follow Delores's lead and give up altogether as she did 5 years ago. She must be pacing herself for a long life instead. We had to buy store eggs a week ago so no 'real' eggs would be wasted in cooking. I've got 3 eggs left, all from Hazel, bless her heart, and they'll be gone in a few days, but each bite will be treasured! If all goes well eggs should begin appearing around Christmas. What better present could I ask for!

1 comment:

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