Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Do These Feathers Make Me Look Fat?

My Ameraucana, Matilda, hasn’t laid an egg in over a week and she’s not broody. I was beginning to get worried, fearing she might be egg bound (even though she isn't showing any of the signs), when I noticed that her tail feathers are gone and that there are numerous feathers on the ground of the coop. Is there some aggression going on that I don't know about? I haven't witnessed any, and she doesn't seem to be fearful of the other hens. She is skittish though and won't let me touch her—Tilly is the one I can always count on to let me pick her up—and she's not "taking the position" or squatting when I approach her.

Seems my beautiful girl has begun her first molt. Chickens molt once a year and, unfortunately, most stop laying until the molt is almost complete. Winter doesn’t seem like a very good time to shed your feathers to me, but I trust the natural order of things. I will certainly miss her lovely blue eggs for the next 6 weeks or so.

I'll post more pictures as she goes through the process.

You can clearly see her missing tail feathers in comparison to the others girls


  1. She is beautiful! I hate it when they molt and egg production goes down.


  2. Nope, just a natural molting process. She will replace all her feathers by the time it's done.