Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Four and a Half Hens

How many do you have?  That's nearly alway the first question after most folks hear I have chickens. The answer is usually, "Five."  But the last month or so, the truth is, "Four and a half."

Petty coat showing on a tiny hen
We'd been away for ten days or so building a car port in Bend for our daughter.  Kind neighbors came twice a day to tend the five hens.  During that time a common but very strange-looking thing happened to my plumpest, most vigorous chicken.   Massive handfuls of feathers appeared in the coop.  Every morning they flowed out of the roost area.  Her caretaker was alarmed and removed the feathers.  She was nearly afraid to look for fear she would find a dead hen, naked and cold.

Grunge comes and goes in the fashion world,
but this style is never in.
Kate Perry Chicken, the most fashion conscious girl of the flock, was getting smaller and smaller.  By the time we came home, she was only half the size of the other hens and about a third of her own usual self.

But Nature is balanced, and all is well.  Kate is close to three quarters of herself again.  Soon her comb will be redder, her tail feathers tall, and plump will be her shape.  Things I get to do today will include counting my hens is whole, round numbers.


  1. Poor dear Kate. We know she would not molt if she could stop it.

  2. I do love your hen posts :) So glad everything is okay!