Saturday, October 1, 2011

Better Days are Coming

What do you get when you cross a chicken with a porcupine?


Penelope has seen better days. It has been a rough season for her.


Her molt this summer is a little scary looking and has lasted, it seems, forever. Of course, she’s not been laying eggs the whole time.


The garden here hasn’t faired much better this year. First we had flooding, then severe drought. A double whammy. Production was dim. I managed to collect enough strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers to eat on but not enough to preserve. I’d have to chalk this year’s harvest up as an epic failure. 


After I turned the calendar page this morning I went ahead and released the chickens into the garden. They’ll spend the rest  of the fall cleaning up the foliage, bugs and spreading fertilizer.


Then maybe next year we’ll see better days all around.


I certainly hope so for her sake.



Michelle said...

I would love to be able to let our chickens help in our garden, but wouldn't they damage the strawberry plants?

Christine said...

I figured I'd let them pick all the bugs out today then just put up some chicken wire around that area to keep them out.

Michelle said...

Thanks for clarifying!

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

I have a hen who molted last year and didn't get her feathers back until this Summer when I started feeding her yogurt every day, as soon as I saw the feathers starting to grow. She looked horrible and I don't know how she survived. But she now looks normal and I fondly call her Sassy. We don't have a garden. Just too many critters to try to keep out.

Crosswinds Farm said...

Half of my flock looks like that right now. I have around 70 (ish) hens and I got 4 eggs today...FOUR!!!!! You probably know this, but throwing a couple of handfuls of cat food to them while they are molting helps the feathers grow back more quickly (high protein).

Nancy K. said...

Am I the only one who actually thought that poor Penelope actually had an encounter with a porcupine???


I'm praying that your post title is true!

Danni said...

I couldn't believe it when one of my hens started molting in August...that's the earliest yet since I've had them. Love that picture of your girl stretching her spindly, spikey wings out - it made me laugh (with her, not AT her - of course! lol)

John'aLee said...

Loved your post!

The Barn Door said...

Oh my goodness....poor Penelope!! You might have to knit her a hoodie for the winter!!

Karen Anne said...

Me, too Nancy K :-)

The first year I started really watching the birds who visit my deck feeders and saw the last summer molt, I though they had had some horrible thing happen to them. Esp. the ones who lose their head feathers. Now its, well it's that time of year again.

Anonymous said...

Hope your chickie poos can work their magic on your garden for next year. I'm sure they will enjoy trying.. :-)