I've started to notice something over the past few days.
First, I saw it in the coop.
I had my suspicions of what was happening but I was in denial.
Today I came home to this, and I must now face the facts.
Can you see what's weird? Not quite? Here's another angle.
How about now?
This morning there were no feathers on the ground.
Every single feather has a yellowish tinge on the tip, meaning they all came from the same hen. This hen.
Our Buff Orpington, Curry, is molting. I think that Croquette may be molting as well. She went through a really hard, ugly molt last winter. That's her on the far right:
This means 3 things.
First, Curry and Croquette probably won't lay another egg until spring. Hens need about 2 months to recover from a molt. As a full, hard molt - as it appears Curry is experiencing - takes a month or more. Three months from now it'll be December. Our girls took the winter off last year (arg). Therefore Curry & Croquette are out of operation until April or so. Bummer.
Second, I'm going to stop selling eggs. Our hens went through really hard molts last autumn and we had a long, cold winter. We got exactly zero eggs from December until perhaps April.
Third, and most importantly, falling feathers signal autumn's arrival.
Fall is here.