Sunday, January 15, 2012

Molting Mania

Even after almost two years with the girls, they still manage to surprise. Last year we missed the bulk of their molting as we were on our honeymoon. (Sorry Mom and Dad for having to deal with that in our absence.) So a few days ago we began to notice the tell tale feather collection and realized that molting had begun. Molting is a winter once a year occurrence when chickens drop most of their feathers and make new ones- kinda of like a chicken reset. All their energy going to making feathers means there are minimal to no eggs and the girls are basically PMSing. They are moody, irritable, and LOUD!

This wouldn't be so bad if it was for the fact that we had a couple over for dinner over the weekend. Cluck walked right up to the wife and pecked her hand. I offered a few treats to the girls hoping that would smooth things over but alas she did it again. Our friend was very kind about the whole thing but still how embarrassing. I really thought Cluck had out grown that bad habit, but I think the molting stress overtook her manners. Ah, the life of an urban farmers' dinner party..... at least I will have plenty of feathers to re-stuff our couch pillows.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Video Tour of Chicken Coop

Happy New Year to all our readers! With the arrival of winter and the holiday season, we have been super busy getting the last of the garden vegetables and herbs harvested and dried, pickled, preserved, etc, etc. The garden beds have been turned over and mulched for the winter, and seed garlic is planted.  Little green shoots are already peeking up through the snow (garlic's awesomeness never ceases to amaze!). This fall's apples have all been crushed, pressed, and bottled, and are bubbling away as the yeasts work hard fermenting the apple juice into next year's hard cider. Finally, the beehive had to be bundled up and prepped for winter. It was so tempting to take some of the sweet delicious honey, already dripping from the frames, but that is what the bees need to live off while holed up all winter in their hive until spring. Beekeeping is turning out to be all about patience. This is the first winter with a beehive so we are anxiously awaiting to see how they fare this winter. Fingers are crossed!

Luckily for our micro-flock of indoor chickens in the basement, no such preparations are needed. They are warm and dry and sheltered from the snow and cold in their basement coop to await spring.

To make up for the sparseness of blog postings this winter, we have put together a video "virtual tour" of or clandestine coop. Enjoy!