The three city hens on Mississippi Ave are back to share some stories after a much-too-long hiatus from the blog! We sometimes forget that our readers stay awake all hours, checking the blog in eager anticipation for any new news. (Riiiight….) But I really must apologize for my lack of writing!
Like I’ve said in previous posts, no news is usually good news. Goldie, Mabelene, and Henrietta are still strutting around the backyard, raising a beak-emitted ruckus when they don’t get turned out early enough in the morning (hello, Saturday attempt at sleeping in), and enlightening us humans with very their busy antics.
The Fall molt is winding down. All girls temporarily lost a good deal of their feathery fluffs starting in October, and have since rebounded with even more downy fluff-covered bodies than before. I was a tad worried about Goldie since molts are tough on hens’ health–and Goldie is no spring chicken (ha–had to say it) at five years old. I watched her like a mother hen (full of ’em this morning, aren’t I?) and incorporated extra protein and other nutrition-rich goodies into her diet. She made it through, and almost on the 3-month dot, laid her first egg last week.
Mabelene is the chicken wonder. As the smallest, thinnest, gangliest hen of the flock, I expected her molt to be nothing less than death-defying. And she surprised us all by continuing to lay beautiful green eggs throughout the entire molt! It’s been three months and she still hasn’t grown her neck feathers back fully yet. It is my lifelong goal to fatten this little hen up to ensure her long-term health.
Henrietta is the unobtrusive middle child. She molted fast and well, but the eggs still elude her. Come on, Henrietta. Start laying! Perhaps the peer pressure will get to her soon, with Goldie and Mabelene dropping one in the nesting box every other day.
The biggest news since my last blog post is in the girls’ living quarters. After much planning and angst about becoming one of those redneck building hoarders whose yard becomes overrun with outbuildings, I bit the bullet and convinced my dad to help build a bigger run on the other side of my garage. It accomplished three major goals: give the girls more space (to alleviate the guilt factor when I travel), get them out of the sun (the former location welcomed all of Florida’s delightful oven-baking afternoon sun eight months out of the year), and restrict the amount of steaming chicken bombs from the garage and patio (never fun to step in).
And after a long few weekends of digging the new foundation, moving walls and re-predator-proofing every inch of the mesh, and a four-person team to move the coop, the girls are now in their new home. And it is wonderful.
Now that we have more space, it begs the question: should we get a few more hens? 🙂