This is our frizzle hen called (of course) Ms. Frizzle. We got her last Spring along with 2 of her sisters (together they are called the three witches) one of which was lame (she’s doing great) and one which has since been named A.S.King (for noted YA author Amy King).
It’s not the clearest to see in this photo but Ms. Frizzle seems to have a receding hair line. It wasn’t like this in her youth last Spring. I’ve checked her out and she doesn’t appear to be sick, she’s eating, drinking, and is up and about. I also know from the egg shape, color, and size that she is continuing to lay eggs for us.
So what’s causing the feather loss on her head? It’s most probably stress related. As you know (if you’ve been reading my blog) we’ve had a miserably cold, wet, never ending winter up here in New Hampshire. It’s been truly crummy. We wake to one overcast day following another (today we have a bit of sun and as soon as I post this, I’m going outside to take a walk – oh wait darn, it just went away).
Our chickens are stuck in their enclosed coop (none of them likes to walk on snow) and while they all have adequate space, it’s got to be tough to be literally cooped up all day not ever having a chance of getting away from the others in the flock.
Let’s face it, there are some in the flock who are rowdy, boisterous, and who eat with deplorable manners. It just seems like they will never grow up. They push and they race to the dinner table without washing their hands first. They grab and devour and when they make a mess – they don’t lift one wing to pick it up.
Oh and the noisy nighttime. Not recognizing the importance of sleep, the young ones won’t go to bed as requested instead staying up all night hooting with their friends about yet another online hysterical video. It gets kind of old after awhile.
I can see how not being able to get away (just for a little while) from that constant crowding, in your face type of behavior can wear on you. How the ongoing stress of just being together causes you to, if not pull your hair out in frustration, at the very least watch in helplessness as it continually recedes. It’s nature’s way of letting you know you’re under assault and you better take cover.
I’ve seen it happen before.