Warning: Article not for the faint-hearted.
I walked into the coop today to find a feathery rug-mat. Another one of the ‘old’ hens died since the last visit. I remember one that looked bedraggled and humped over during the past few days. I guess she’s a goner. I didn’t do an autopsy. There wasn’t much to look at. They usually have egg laying problems of some sort.
The butt end was..uhh…void. The birds have been losing their feathers. I know it isn’t because of molting because they cleaned all the feathers of the upper side of this dead one, but didn’t seem to even care about the flesh. In times gone by I have seen them get very carnivorous. My verdict is that they are lacking something. It could be lack of sunlight (I wonder why?) or protein or boredom. I think they need to get outside…hmmm. The snow is slowly shrinking.
Now I’m down to 18 hens of which 6 are 2 years old and 12 are last years Plymouth Barred Rock variety.
I cremated her with respect for all the eggs she layed over the past 2 years.