Farm Farm

Molting & Crazy Eggs

My poor molting chicken.

About two weeks ago I noticed that one of my Delaware chickens was looking a little plucked. It first noticed the soft downy feathers on her bottom seemed to be showing some bare spots. When my friend Cyrena, was farm sitting for me last weekend when we were in the Catskills she sent me a panicked text message about her having a bare rear end. About mid-week last week I noticed some of her wing feathers seemed to be missing.

I wondered if she could me molting. It’s hard to imagine, but in my ten years or so of raising chickens I have never had one molt. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. My computer is in front of a window that looks directly out onto the farm area and I hadn’t seen anybody picking on this poor chicken. She’s one of the oldest, most senior chickens in the flock. Not that she’s “old”, but she’s been around a while.

Stop taking pictures of me when I look like this!

I finally sent some photos of her to my friend Sue last night. She’s become my go-to person on chickens. She confirmed that yes, she was indeed molting. I was so glad it wasn’t anything more than that. She said she had 3 molting girls herself.

My poor molting chicken.

One of my friend Sue's molting hens. Lordy, this poor girl looks terrible!

It’s a regular loony bin here. I’ve still got two broody hens. One has been a sort of half-assed broody for about a month now. Every single night when I’m locking up the farm I find her in the dog house. This is not predator-proof, so I can’t let her stay in there overnight. So, I pick her up. Sometimes she is laying on an egg. Sometimes she has two under her, as somebody else laid one in the dog house that day and she rolled it under her. If she’s laying on any eggs, I pick those up along with her and put her in a nesting box in the small coop with the younger chickens and put her eggs back underneath her. She’ll stay on those eggs all night, but come morning when I go to let everyone out to eat, she hops right off of the egg(s), and spends half the day eating and socializing. But at lock-up time every night, she’ll be back in there again. This has gone on now for at least a month.

Then there’s Ash. This poor girl has been broody in a nesting box in the goat house for probably close to two months now. I have never seen her off of her eggs. And she’s not picky about what she’s laying on, either. Currently she’s laying on 4 real eggs, 3 plastic eggs, and 1 wooden egg. She is one determined girl. I’ve started feeding her a little bowl of food at feeding time so she doesn’t starve to death sitting on those eggs.

Ash is still broody in the goat house.

It’s not uncommon for one of the hens to lay a strange egg that has a bumpy surface instead of a smooth, normal egg. This weekend we got the lumpiest, bumpiest egg I’ve ever seen. Fortunately I discovered Jim was boiling it for his breakfast this morning before I’d had a chance to take a picture of it, so I dragged it out of the boiling water for this shot. It had a little crack in it from it’s boiling.

A lumpy, bumpy egg.

And yesterday we got one of the smallest eggs I think we’ve ever had laid here. I don’t even think my two favorite old bantam hens, Chow Mein or Mrs. Pocket, laid eggs this small. See photo below (center, far right egg).

A tiny egg was laid this weekend.


  1. love the bumpy egg and tiny one too! i wonder why they get the bumps… any idea?

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