Falling Leaves, Feathers & Other Happenings

Well, here it is the end of another day, September 21st. Time flies by so fast, and autumn is now upon us. The leaves are falling, and so are the chicken's feathers. It's that time of year when chickens molt. The old feathers fall out, and new feathers grow in. While this process in going on, many of the hens stop laying eggs and most look like they're having a "bad feather day". Usually the young pullets are exempt from this, but the adult hens get this "make-over". In past years, I've always had a light and timer in each coop to maintain 14 to 16 hours of "light" year-round, which helps keep the hens laying throughout the shorter daylight hours of the fall & winter. But, this year, I decided that some of the hens deserve a break, so while they still have lights & timers, I'm reducing the hours they are on, so they can take their more natural break. Yes, that'll mean less eggs during the colder months, but I also have young pullet that will begin to lay soon, so they'll help fill in the gaps.

 Speaking of new pullets beginning to lay, I have some exciting news. I have my first "olive egger" , although it's more of a khaki colored egg, and it's not a traditional cross of Ameracana & Marans.
Rather, the rooster sire was "Bob" the Bielefelder and the hen who laid the "green egg" was "Susan", one of the 2013 Catskill Homesteader hens.


 Well, this is one of the pullets that resulted from the cross. A beauty for sure:

And the darkest eggs in the front are the first few eggs that were laid by this pullet or her sister.


Well, lots more going on here ... processing roosters, sending more roosters to the auction, selling pullets & old hens; getting a load of mulch round bales, picking up new Swedish Flower Hen roosters & a Barnevelder rooster for the Catskill Homesteader project. Harvesting the garden, and collecting fallen leaves for the chickens making compost. But, now it's time for bed. Tomorrow another's day, and we'll see what adventure that holds.