Chicken Problems

Behold what we have been reduced to:

These are boughten eggs. 

We've only had one egg since putting the blinders on the chickens, and that was from Martha, who managed to get hers off within the first 24 hours. Since then, we haven't gotten one, and I'm assuming that having a piece of plastic wedged in your nostrils is so uncomfortable that it's kind of stressing them out.

Or they might be doing a springtime mini-molt:

Abigail always does this, but the others haven't ever stopped laying the spring for a mini-molt — they usually molt in the fall, as the daylight wanes. We may have triggered it by dialing their light back in an effort to ease their supposed stress as well, but who knows at this point.

To recap this week in chickens: Lizzy is still inexplicably hateful towards only me, throwing herself against the walls of the run whenever I pass by. Kirk gets no such treatment, probably because he feeds them. Rachel's butt is still pecked; Sally's is a little better. We took off the blinders (not easy — I gave Sally a little nosebleed). We also put more Bag Balm on Rachel's raw sin to try to deter the pecking, but I'm about to give up on further treatment. 

It's frustrating because, while three-year-old Abigail, Martha, and Sally are off the hook for daily laying, the other three birds are in their first spring and should be in their absolute prime. It's not clear what combination of issues has left them barren, but at this point we're just going to let it go.

And there might be a ray of hope, sort of:

There's evidence of an egg in the nesting box — just a bit of the white, and not even a piece of shell left. Perhaps someone is gobbling them up before we can get to them? It's not like the henhouse is rife with broken eggs, but at least someone laid something fairly recently.


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