My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?


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My Barnevelder chickens have started moulting and their egg production has reduced

It is a few days from the first day of autumn here in the southern hemisphere. About two weeks ago I started noticing feathers littering the yard and then I noticed my Barnevelder girl’s egg production started to go down.

So I am guessing my Barnevelders are going through their first moult. I checked online and yes, I see that late summer, early autumn is a common time for chickens to start moulting. I hope mine don’t go through an almost naked moult like some poor chickens do. Because my girls are not yet twelve months old (they will be one year old in April), I am guessing their moult will be less severe but I am not sure if that is right.

Hannah Hen went through a moult after hatching her chicks so she may not go through another one.

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My chicken is moulting after hatching her chicks

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I used to look like this. I think I was rather majestic looking if I may say so myself!

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Then I was very lucky and I was given eggs to hatch. Twenty one days of sitting on those eggs, I hatched these adorable things. Five of them. No one noticed at the time because we were all too busy oohing and aahing over my babies, but there is a tell tale feather in the bottom of this picture.

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Then I started to notice more and more of my beautiful feathers on the ground of the run.

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I have no idea how many feathers I will lose in this moult but look at me. Just look at my bottom! My beautiful tail has gone!

The big boss (that is the person who thinks she is my owner but of course she does not own me) went online to her poultry central forum website thingy and she found out that we mums often moult after we have hatched our babies. Well no wonder, what on earth does she expect. It is very hard work and stressful on my body to be sitting in that confined space for 21 days and not to have much time to eat or drink. I can’t let my eggs go cold, you know!