Chicken matters

(Or should that be chickens matter?)

Egg-laying has dropped off in the last 3 weeks—I’ve had 8, 8 & 6 respectively from the 3 Girls, after weeks of 12 or 13 per week. Feathers started appearing in the run and it appears that Cheeky is moulting and therefore not laying. Molly and Lady are laying alternately, meaning 2 every second day and none in between. I expect they’ll start moulting soon too, and I will be back to visiting the free-range egg farm at the end of the street for a while. At least I still get poop!

It’s quite easy to see that Cheeky is the one not laying—her comb and wattles are a dead giveaway; both a dull brownish pink, compared to the bright red of the other two. Something I haven’t been inclined to notice so much before, but I will now.

This year’s moult is a couple of months early—I don’t know why—although with the hot weather we’re having, it makes sense to shed a bit of the fluffy stuff next to your skin, especially if you’re a dark-coloured chicken who absorbs the heat.

As I write this it’s early afternoon, the temperature is 37 Celsius and predicted to hit 41! The Girls are resting in a heap in a hole they’ve dug under the shade canopy over the run. I’ve been going out every half-hour or so and hosing down their playground to keep the sand moist and cool and putting ice cubes in their water. I’ve read that chickens won’t drink water that is above their body temperature. I think I’ll take them some nice cold watermelon (yes, I know they’re spoilt!).

Roll on cool change!

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5 Responses to “Chicken matters”

  1. sleepinghorse Says:

    Lucky chooks to have such a good mum. 🙂
    I am so glad it doesn’t get that hot here in New Zealand.

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi sleeping horse, thank you for the comment. I have looked at your blog and I am rapt! Another chicken blog into my feed reader! And you have Barnevelders! I’m going to enjoy reading about Hilda & Helen and all the others.

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  2. narf77 Says:

    My chooks want to come and visit…I might just toss a big iceblock into their water but they have shady trees to lay under. We just contained ours and they are on a bit of an egg strike but we are still getting enough from them to keep Steve in eggs :). did anything eventuate from those teparary beans? I forgot to plant mine and the sodding wallabies ate my purple kings 😦

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      Sorry for not updating you about the tepary beans. I was waiting until they flower to send a photo. They’re in a wicking box and doing well. I’m not going to eat any of them, just leave them for the seed.

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      • narf77 Says:

        Awesome! I am going to be picking up some very interesting new beans soon that the fellow at Inspirations Exeter and his “bean research man” have been working on to grow in our local conditions (read dry all summer long!) to test run here on Serendipity Farm…you might find a little package sent in the mail if I get enough 😉 Glad they are still growing well. I will do the same with mine when I plant them next year.

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