I'm relieved to say that my carpal tunnel has now sorted itself out; I had a brief spell of RSI in the other arm, but that's now OK too.
So a quick update on Fizz and the girls.
To be honest, I haven't seen much of them over the past few days. The snow has been thick on the ground, it's been very cold, so they've spent most of their time snuggled up in the coop. They reluctantly come down for a mid-afternoon snack, then shoot back inside to keep warm.
Very late in the Autumn, most of the chickens decided to moult. Titian did the same thing as last year and went for the "oven ready" look. Unfortunately, just as she lost the last few feathers the temperature plunged. After a day and a half of it being really, really cold she began to look quite unwell, so we decided to bring her inside until she feathered up a bit. So she spent a week in a huge box in our kitchen. I knew she was beginning to feel better when she demanded sunflower seeds every time she saw me. We kept them on our dining room table and as soon as I appeared, she would go and stand in the corner of her box nearest the table and stare up at it, then at me, then back to the table, chuntering all the time. After a week, her feathers had regrown to the point where we felt she would be well able to cope with low temperatures again, so we put her back with the others.
It was absolutely fascinating watching her feathers grow. I know from observing them all in past years that chicken feathers grow fast. But being able to see progress at close quarters and from one hour to the next was amazing. In the morning there would simply be quills sticking out, by lunchtime I'd notice that some of them were darker at the ends. Come the evening, and you could see just a tiny line of what looked like the very tip of an auburn paintbrush.
Chickens never cease to amaze me! More news soon.