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The Great Molt 2012This is one of the more interesting times of the year for backyard chicken owners.  The time when a chicken gives a shake, or a gust of wind blows, and a bushel of feathers release into the air with a barely audible “poof”.

Feathers, feathers everywhere.  The girls, they are a moltin’.

This also means that egg production has come to a complete halt.  Liesl and Greta are losing feathers like mad, but Ginger, who is only eight months old, won’t molt until next year.  However, she seems to be going through a “sympathetic molt” and has stopped laying eggs in solidarity with her sisters.  We’ve set up a light in the coop on a timer, so that she gets at least 14 hours of light a day, and hopefully, when the other two are done their molt, she’ll start laying again with them.

Chickens.  Mysterious, fascinating creatures.

A Week of Molting