Here's what I see every night when I do the hen head count. Most of my flock are in different stages of molt, so be nice. Some have bald spots or look they are part porcupine. They are embarrassed with their looks now, and growing new feathers is painful. They were not happy to see the camera. When new feathers come in, they are encased in a shaft giving a porcupine look. There's a lot of blood and new nerves here. Molt lasts for 4-6 weeks normally. Feeding more protein can speed it up a little.
Beep-Beep named was changed to Spiky since she's growing spurs
Have you noticed that my hen sleep with like colored hens my very colorful flock
I'm not sure if my non-molting hens are laughing at the ones that are, but some do seem to be a little more happier then normal
Just Cookies in her nest, building and getting the eggs just right
Cookies is a silver spangled hamburg, a heritage breed. They are quite cheerful-looking, with a rose comb and bright white earlobes. This breed originated in Holland sometime prior to the fourteenth century. Hamburgs are prolific egg layers—known as Dutch Everyday Layers or Everlayers in England—they lay smaller, but beautiful white eggs throughout the year. Laying between 200-255 medium, white eggs per year. This is one of several breeds that most resembles the chicken in the wild. For the Livestock Conservancy Status: Watch , meaning this breed is getting close to being endangered. One of the reasons Cookies joined my flock.
Hamburgs are a happy-go-clucky breed. They tend to be a bit flap-happy and not just with glee; they truly love to flap, flap, flap…and away they fly. This is one of the few breeds of chicken that CAN fly. A jaunt here and there, a flap up into a tree for a spell, or a longer flight through the friendly skies is happiness to their wings. They’re quick. They’re proficient. And, they might feign ignorance at the saying, What flaps up, must flap down. Hamburgs are quite content to roost in trees. This is why Cookies' wings and tail feathers are trimmed however she can still still get 3-4 feet off of the ground. Tall fences are a must, but it also helps to have other breeds she becomes buddies with that can't fly. This way Hamburgs are more likely to stay in your property. Cookies is the 1st hen I look for when doing the head count at night. She's usually at the highest spot she can get to, looking, plotting, and chatting with Cream (a white leghorn) how to get up in the rafters. Once the roof is done, they'll be able to get up there.
Hamburg's enjoy nothing more than embarking on a little exploratory mission with their favorite poultry pal or pals, foraging till their feathery heart’s content. If beaks could smile, Cookies would be smiling all the while. She has a unique loud cluck when she discovers something fascinating from finding something new (like entering the great outdoors/backyard), bird seed falling from the feeders, or the compost or garden section is opened up to my hens, so I hear it all the time. It took my cats, dog, and even the other hens a bit to get used to it without jumping up.My hens would run over expecting some great food treat. Cookies is very curious about everything. She's the first hen to check out a new area. Cookies is always getting in some garden spaces with short fence and showed her buddies how to get in. If my mixed flock were out in the country walking and come upon a fox hole, All of my hens except for Cookies would pass it while keeping an eye on it. Cookies on the hand with her curious nature would go exploring and most likely be eaten.
Hamburgs are aggressive foragers. Cookies doesn't seem to care how much bigger my other hens are when foraging. She will steal a juicy worm or anything from any hen's mouth including the top hens then run off and eat it quickly. Hamburg's are normally towards the top with pecking order, and Cookies is working her way up. I think she's the 5th top in the pecking order, under Sweet, Sour, Barred Rock, and Road Runner. She recently showed her mom (Feisty raised her), that she above her. Feisty, a silver laced wyandotte, is the 2nd best mother hen you can have in your flock. They are very docile and mothering. I don't have the best mother hen (Silkie) in my flock because their heads look like a ball. My dog is obsessed with fetching balls, and I'm not going to temp fate here. Plus I think they look funny.
The Hamburg’s compact little body naturally leads to a much better feed conversion rate. In other words, they’re appetite for living life grandly far exceeds their appetite for pecking at mere chicken feed.