Monday, November 7, 2016

Pillow fight and a mystery

The chicken coop is a mess of late. There is the usual straw and chicken poop but in addition to that there is an abundance of feathers. It looks like the ladies had a rowdy slumber party complete with a pillow fight one night. I think all five of the chickens are molting simultaneously which results in a coop full of feathers and a bunch of rather pathetic looking chickens wandering around the backyard. Gretchen has lost his beautiful tail feathers and the hens are in various states of nakedness. Lucy is by far the worst off, looking something closer to a hedgehog than a chicken, with all her old feathers fallen out and her new ones growing in still. 

In addition to being challenged in the plumage department, Lucy has recently developed a mysterious new habit. She has taken sleeping in the Little Coop - the name we gave the second coop we made in case it was needed when raising new chicks. Normally all the chickens sleep in the regular coop - Villa di L'uccelli or [very] roughly translated: house of the birds - also known as the armored coop because something around 150 bolts were used in its construction and it was designed to be impervious to raccoons and other predators. The Little Coop is not nearly so fortified and has never found favor with any of the chickens until now. 

Every evening when the coop is closed up for the night we do a head count just to make sure everyone is in for the night and of late Lucy is always missing and can be found in the Little Coop all by herself. We don't know if she has grown tired of the company of the other ladies and Gretchen or if she simply finds herself out in the yard after dark and heads for the nearest coop or if she has some other mysterious reason for wanting to branch out on her own and go solo. So now every evening we have to fish Lucy out of the Little Coop and put her in the armored coop with the rest of the ladies because until we know otherwise, that is the safest place for her - safe from predators and safe from getting too cold without the other ladies to huddle up next to should the temperature drop.

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