The slow-down season, that is. The ladies are starting to take turns molting, and egg production has slowed somewhat.
The first year I had them, the molting came as a surprise to me – I’m not sure what I expected, but that wasn’t it. This year, I’m a little more prepared. And amused.
Houdini (Barred Rock) went first and has no tail feathers left. Not-Henery is almost done – but she’s got that one last hanger-on:
The next step will be cleaning out the coop for the winter, getting the heat lamp set up and hunting down a way to keep their water from freezing. I’d read about using bird bath heaters for smaller waterers, I may try that. It’s much cheaper than the heaters made for actual stock tanks, and I really don’t need anything too powerful.
I also will be trying to weatherize the coop a bit more. The door that is now attached leaves an 8-inch gap at the top, which was fine during the summer but will leave them with a large draft once the weather starts turning. I really am considering doing the unthinkable the next time tax-returns roll around: buying an actual coop. Maybe not my dream coop, but something that is a little more right-angly and less drafty.
Although…I could just knit them all sweaters…