Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Tale of a Chicken

We've told you before about our foster chicken, Stumpy.  When she came to us she was missing all the feathers on her sides and bottom from her pen mates pecking her nearly to death.
Turns out hybrid chickens tend who lose feathers tend to molt all their feathers before growing any back.  She is now nearly featherless.  She looks like a broiler chicken running around in our back yard.  We've been concerned about the cold weather coming and how she'd manage.
So we bought her a coat.  It's really for a tiny dog, but looked like it would work. 
 It fits her, but she trips over it when she tries to walk. I know, we already have naked dogs, who wear coats, now a chicken, yadda yadda yadda.  She could freeze to death!  For the record she's much more pleasant to hold when wearing her sweater, it's a bummer it won't work out for her.  We're hoping she learns to stay in the coop for the winter, she is so cold already that she stopped laying eggs.  She's an older bantam and has laid eggs since we got her.  The good news is, two of our Ameraucanas started laying finally!  Wing-Wing, Z's favorite, was the first to start laying.  Chickens are usually about 5 months old when they start laying eggs, these two were two weeks shy of becoming 5 months old.  We don't expect to get many eggs over Winter, but lots come Spring.  

The fun part is that the new eggs are GREEN!  
  I'm sorry if all of this is WAY too much chicken information.  We just had to share!  We do love our chickens.  If you happen to see Ben in person, be sure to ask him what a chicken sneeze sounds like, he does a great impression!!!
 Stumpy keeping an eye on things.


Nicki said...

Today my children informed me that you don't have chickens any more because they all ran off into the corn field. They were really grateful to see your post with a picture of the chicken :)

Becca said...

We did lose one chicken (one of the pretty Polish ones) to the corn field. I told Ben she got lost and Ben corrected me, "No, she was found." We also lost two to a racoon over Memorial Day weekend, but we still have 8 of our own and Stumpy, our naked foster chicken. Michael could be a chicken-whisperer, he's so good with them!

Peggy said...

A friend of mine (who is a big animal vet) emailed me that her father in law had just shot a wild turkey and brought it home so she could dress it. So I sent her a picture of Stumpy all dressed. She thought it hilarious. Her response though....

You might suggest she get a heat lamp for the coop this winter as it'll be almost impossible to clothe a hen so she can still move her wings and feet, or else bring her into the basement or garage. She will freeze to death otherwise unless they live in CA.