Still moulting

I am finding heaps of, little girl, feathers in the chicken shed each morning and in the run especially in the dust bath holes. Yet the little girls don’t actually look much different.

But there is a change in them when they are not involved in egg laying. They hang out together in a tight group either dust bathing or preening. They seem to like to hang out under the metal table.

The little girls like to hang out together under the metal table

Another thing I have noticed is that Shadow and Sugar have been having little spats. They raise their ruffs and run at each other breast to breast.

This is surprising considering how attached to each other they were when they were chicks. Shadow wins these little spats and Sugar is firmly at the bottom of the pecking order.

The order is Smoke at the top then Salmon, next Spangle, then Shadow and Sugar at the bottom. I have come to realise that even the closest of girls have to make sure that the pecking order is in place. The first time I was surprised at a pair of inseparable girls doing this was with Amber and Honey.

Ebony is top girl. Flame is mostly in second place but does allow Smoke to get the better of her sometimes.

Flame and Ebony are the only girls laying, usually every other day. They are dropping a few feathers but not really moulting at the moment.

Flame with a few feathers sticking out each side of her
Ebony also with just a few tatty feathers

I think the two bigger girls have been moulting in partial stages. They did a partial moult after they each had a broody spell and since then just a few feathers at a time. This is better than a complete moult in one go. It will be interesting to see if they are done now if they have more to come.

I also wonder how much longer they will lay. Any eggs are a bonus at the moment.

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6 Responses to Still moulting

  1. Jenny says:

    My three Dutch bantams are moulting and are like that too.

    They’re normally flying out over their fence as soon as I let them out of their run, but at the moment they’re staying in and just sitting together doing not much for most of the day.

  2. David says:

    They do seem lethargic in the moult. I still have several laying, but egg production has dropped in proportion with the amount of feathers! Butterscotch was singing this morning, so I think she’ll be back in lay in a few days, having moulted after she abandoned her clutch. The moult seems to be taking so much out of two of my older girls (6 and 7 respectively), that I am thinking they won’t make it this year.

  3. marion.pharo says:

    They still look very good, even though moulting.

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