The Cluckers have got me really worried. Before you gasp with anxiety, they are all fit, healthy and in excellent spirits.
They've got their moulting over and done with and they all look magnificent. And that's what worries me. Each and every one of them has a finer set of feathers than they have ever had before. Ever! I have to ask myself why.
The only thing I can think of is that they know something we don't. My suspicion is that we are in for a very harsh Winter, my chickens are well aware of that and have, in a manner of speaking, put an extra pair of thermals on.
In my last blog I mentioned the lavish headgear the two Polands are now sporting. Fizz, in particular, also seems to have sprouted considerably more feathers all over the show. It's a bit different with Pom-Pom. Madam sheds feathers so discreetly it's almost impossible to see where she's lost them from, other than her tail. For a while the pair of them wandered round without a tail between them. It is equally hard to see where Pom-Pom has grown them back, other than lots of extras in her crest.
Both Maggie and Tu-Tu got rid of duvetfuls of feathers. However, they both had so many to start with they looked pretty much the same, but slimmer. But their regrowth is even more abundant than it was before.
The two Araucana girls decided to approach their moults differently. Punk decided to live up to her name and wandered round with stray feathers sticking up at all angles on her head. That was about as far as she went. Rebecca looked as if she was practicing for Halloween! She ended up with all the shafts of her wing feathers showing on both sides, so that she looked like a walking skeleton.
Mad Irene got rid of her tail, as many bum feathers as she could without going bald, and lots from her neck. The feather loss round her neck caused us some amusement. She has a habit of stretching her neck up to its fullest extent to look at things and decide if she can be bothered going over to examine them more closely. You really shouldn't do that when your neck is scrawny. But her feathers have also all grown back in super-abundance.
So I'm off to the shops to get some really warm vests, a few pairs of long-johns and some nice thick socks - just in case.