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Clever Cleo

Cleo is most definitely back to normal. Yay! But we are still not getting any eggs from either hen, so now I’m thinking we are heading into a molting season. Cleo’s chest had been looking like it was losing feathers, but I thought it was merely from all of the massage I was giving her. However, she now appears to be losing some on her neck as well, and it looks like some new feathers are growing underneath. Gloria still looks normal, but I’m starting to see black and grey feathers on the lawn. They’ve also started sleeping in their nesting box again (blurg!) which they haven’t done in several months, and there were a few of Gloria’s feathers in there this morning. I hear that molting usually happens in the late summer or early fall, so that’s right on track, and that it lasts from 6-8 weeks, so I guess it’s back to grocery eggs for awhile. 😦 At least they are both happy and healthy! We did have another raccoon visitor the other day, but it was easily scared away, and Gloria is being a bit of a bully to Cleo, which is unusual. I wonder if it’s because of Cleo’s illness? She doesn’t seem to be injuring her, but she occasionally pecks at her and chases her off from a mutual food source. Any ideas about how to prevent this?

hens starting to molt

Cleo with a nice straight comb… but starting to molt.

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3 thoughts on “Clever Cleo

  1. They both are so beautiful and healthy! I have 9 hens and I’m getting about 4 eggs a day, but one day I didn’t get any. I know a couple of them are starting to molt, because I’m finding feathers around, and 2 of them have just stopped being broody. They really keep you guessing, don’t they?

  2. I’m so glad your girls look happy and healthy. My chooks are still losing feathers randomly. I think their moult must be over – it’s coming up to spring here. But since last year they were too young to moult I’m not sure whether this is still a moult or if it’s common to lose some feathers all the time when you’re a big, grown up chicken. Whatever it is, my girls didn’t really stop laying. I think there were 1 or 2 days with no eggs, but otherwise I always got something and generally everyone laid 5 days a week even at their worst. I have such good girls.

    As for the pecking at the food source issue, I suspect you’ve got no hope of curing that. My “cure” was to set up 1 feeder per chook. They take turns as to who eats where, the dominant chickens chasing the smaller ones away who then are clever enough to walk to the feeder the dominant chook just vacated. They have it all worked out so no pecking is required, just a specific sound that means “run for your life” or something like that 🙂

    Good luck achieving harmony in the hen house – I just don’t think that’s their nature.

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