By popular demand! And because I can’t think of anything better!
First of all, they all finished molting by mid-December or so. Look how fluffy they are! I swear their new coats grew in even thicker and more lush than the first year.
“You bring grain, human, yes?”
Boy did they get mad when they figured out I had come empty-handed.
It is difficult to describe how much of each hen’s volume is just feathers. So I will demonstrate with the power of Photoshop.
Here is Ethel, standing on the ramp to the coop.
Here is the outline of her body inside all those feathers. This is not an exaggeration.
Now, on to the topic of laying. I decided to supplement light after January 1st. I bought those silly little tap lights. I think it’s a failure as an experiment. Not enough light, is my guess.
Nevertheless, they are working towards laying all on their own. When a hen’s system is fired up and laying eggs, her comb (the part on top of her head) and wattles (the dangly bit on her cheeks) get larger and more colorful.
Harriet has been laying since the beginning of the month. Look at that comb!
(And look at that stink eye! “I KNOW you didn’t come out here without grain! GIVE IT TO ME.”)
Ethel is not laying. And by the looks of it, she’s a ways off. Her wattles are practically non-existent.
Martha has exactly the same style of comb (being the same breed). But look at the difference! Martha’s comb is big enough that it’s flopping over at the back. She started laying about two weeks ago.
Dolly, the black one, is kind of in the middle. And I wasn’t able to get any pictures. It’s hard to snap an unblurred picture of a chicken’s head – they’re very twitchy creatures!