Have you seen the movie, Moana? If you don’t have young kids or grandkids, you may not have seen this Disney movie. I’d honestly recommend it to anyone. If you get a chance, one of these cold evenings, go ahead and rent/stream/view it!
One of the characters in Moana is a little, very… simple minded… chicken named HeiHei (pronounced hay hay). HeiHei hands out a lot of laughs even though it’s a non-speaking part. HeiHei also is a bit on the skinny side and looks pretty pitiful when wet.
My hens are in the middle of molting and I have to say… they’re looking a little like HeiHei.
Did you know chickens molt? With shorter days and cooler temperatures, the hens are losing their feathers getting ready to grow in new shiny ones for winter. Losing feathers and growing new ones takes a lot of energy and as a result, egg production is pretty pitiful. Egg production also falls off with the shorter days, but especially if hens are having a hard molt.
My brown Leghorns look the worst, possibly because they are the best layers. They give me a white egg almost every day. The grey/silver shafts you see are their new feathers coming in. Look carefully at the tips and you can see the feathers emerging.
Some of my hens have simply lost their tail feathers. Others you can’t really see that they’ve lost any feathers. I cleaned my coop two weeks ago and it already looks like it needs it again simply because there are feathers everywhere. It looks like a fox has enjoyed a meal or two in there!
Leghorns are naturally smaller, egg laying machines that they are, so they always look less impressive in size than my Barred Rocks and New Hampshire Reds… but I have to say… these days they’re just looking a little HeiHei.Find me here!