You might remember reading about our poor hen Broken Feathers, so named because her position as Hector's favourite (amorously speaking) resulted in so many broken feathers on her back and wings she needed a coat (quite a stylish one, if we do say so) to help keep her warm.
That may have seemed bad enough, but things have worsened for our plucky little hen: winter arrived, and with it came unusually cold temperatures (below freezing most nights) and the usual damp, drizzling rain. So we came up with a waterproof version of the coat, with a top layer cut from an old shower curtain and a layer underneath made of soft fleece (modelled here by Broken Feather's friend Ginger, Hector's #2 go-to-girl).
And if that wasn't bad enough, Broken Feather's first molt (when chickens lose an awful lot of their feathers over a period of a few weeks, which are then replaced by brand new ones) took a dive from mild to wicked: that chicken was practically naked. She looked half plucked, the poor thing, and the saddest was her bare little pink butt. We were just grateful that she had the sense to start sleeping in a nest box at night to keep warm, since my modest sewing skills prevented me from covering all of her with fleece and shower curtain.
I am happy to announce that Broken Feathers has turned a corner: her new feathers are finally coming in - all at once, which means she is an itchy chickie. Her fleece coat became much too irritating for her, so she is back to being au naturel. She may look a bit funny right now, but in a couple of weeks she will be back to her original, fluffy, Buff Orpington glory.
We're going to have to give her a new name.