One Reality of What it Means to be a Farmgirl

I'll be making a green (New Mexico Anaheim) chili dish tonight that I haven't made before and Jamey might come over to see how it turns out (it's his recipe).
He'll want to see the chickens, because he's the one that moved the coop, and I've been bragging on my flock-- hoping his g/f might want me to hatch a few out for her next spring-- so cleaning the yard is my priority today.
Thankfully she won't be in town to see this mess...
The yard is FULL of feathers!

(These were taken 2 days ago, so it's even worse now- and you should see INSIDE the coop!)

Unfortunately, I just happened upon a blog, Hippychicks Adventure to Sustainable Happiness (wonderful blog!) that just happened to be explaining this:  THEY ARE MOLTING... apparently

No eggs during molts- because naturally, eggs and feathers both require protein... and so they are shedding their feathers and it's a GODAWFUL MESS! But, it's brought on by stress...(either from sudden weather changes or by yep- MOVING them!)
There's nothing I can do whatever the cause, but wait it out, and it might be as long as 3 months! So I guess all the souffle's will have to wait until the end of January?
Some great info on this phenomenon here: Why Chickens Go Into Moult (British spelling)

I'm raking everything up in piles against one side of the coop in order to help retain heat inside during the snows. 
(beyond the pile- that's a bag I saved from last year when we ran out of firewood and we had to buy it because a cord of firewood is expensive at the end of winter! Not that buying it in bags is cheaper, but it's not a huge one-time cost that way). I have 24 empty bags now, and am filling with kindling. Going on bag 3 now... because the ground -all 10 acres but the driveway, is littered with pieces of wood!)

Damn snow...
I KNOW, you're laughing. 

Horse feathers.......

So many feathers, that not only have I gotten a handful for my collection (for crafts), but have lined their 6 nesting boxes with the fuzziest of them. It looks like a rabbit den. (Rabbits use their fur to line their nests). I don't know if chickens pluck their feathers for that or not, but I am trying everything to entice them to lay!

I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but in order not to be too embarrassed later, I guess I've got to get back out there & finish my job.
This is like cleaning the horse corral.

I guess this is a reality of learning what it is, and how to be a Farmgirl. How the heck do other farmgirls do it & keep it all nice and clean? Am I expecting the impossible? Maybe I'll have to ask around.

*Paula at The Fraker Farm says: chickens are like potato chips, you can't have just one.
Or twenty.

Happy Dreaming!

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