Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Two Signs of Fall

Well, I'm feeling much better today thanks to uplifting words from many of you and my sister.  Thank you so much for your support.  It's funny that the internet can spread such venom and lies, but it can also be a port in a storm---a port full of complete strangers.  Thanks again. :)

Fall is coming!  I can feel it in the air this morning and I'm thrilled.  The wind is coming from the North for the first time in months.  
The two main signs of impending weather change, whether the temperature supports it or not are: acorns on the oak trees and moulting chickens. 
 
I wish I believed in  the old time weather predictor of  "lots of acorns means a harsh winter."  In the nearly 20 years I've lived in Texas, many acorns do not mean harsh winters.  

As for moulting chickens.  It always make me laugh when folks come over who don't have chickens and see mine in their varying stages of 'undress'.  The chicken yard starts to look like a chicken blew up because there are so many feathers laying about.  One poor hen in particular looks downright raggedy when she moults. She's always the last to go too.  I worry she'll freeze when the cold winds begin to blow. She just snuggles in with the other girls extra tight at night.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful top photo, CeeCee! Those greens are so soothing to my eye...and those sweet little acorns are cute as can be.
    And just why is it that chickens molt (moult?) when the weather is getting cooler...does that make any sense at all? I don't think mine will molt this year, right? They've barely just gotten their feathers, it would seem odd for them all to fall out now.
    I'm glad you're feeling better. :-)

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  2. Well all be darn, I've been misspelling molt for a long time! I kept wondering why spell check kept grabbing the word, but just figured it didn't know the word. ;)

    I think chickens molt before cold weather so they'll have nice, new, fluffy feathers to get them through the winter. Your comments caused me to dig deeper (which I love!) into the molt.
    Here's what Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry says:
    "When a bird starts its molt, it goes out of production and its reproductive tract shrinks to the size of an immature pullet. The bird will not come back into production until shortly before or just after the molt is complete and the reproductive tract returns to normal size."
    Cool! Something I didn't know. A sort of "Henopause" with an off/on switch.
    My girls usually stop laying at the beginning of the molt and don't lay again until spring. Grocery store eggs--yuk!

    BTW, your girls will not molt this winter. It's likely that egg production will drop due to fewer daylight hours, though. Mine laid most of the winter their first year, just to prove the books wrong.

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