Lesson 624 – A new set of feathers for one of our 3 witches

Okay, this weekend we noticed something weird with one of our Serama “three witches.” If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that it seemed like our Frizzle, (one of the three witches) who had been almost naked all summer due to molting and her feathers being pulled out by others, all of the sudden, one day, exploded into a full coat of feathers. Although it wasn’t, it *seemed* that her re-feathering occurred overnight.

“How did that happen?,” we all asked ourselves. What with school starting and constant soccer games, guess we just weren’t paying attention – was the reply we kept coming up with.

Well, now another one of the sisters has some molting going on. What was formerly a pretty little solid black bantam has now turned into a black and white dappled bird. Her current look is dramatically different from what we are used to. “Hey, mom, did we get a new chicken?” I heard from more than one person.

During the weekend, this little chicken escaped from the coop which meant we had to run around, chase and catch her to put her back. (Some of the chickens will come when called, but the smaller bantams are a bit on the skittish side and need to be corralled in order to be put back.) Addy was the one who finally caught her and when she was holding her, Addy called me over.

“Hey mom, take a look at this.”

It turns out that what we had thought was white “under feathers” was actually a series of thin tubes in which feathers were growing inside. Each tube was whitish and soft, much like a soft nail and although I tried to pull one of them off, I couldn’t, they are there for a reason. It sort of looked like our little chicken had a bit of porcupine in her.

very soft “quills”

 

Do you see the little paint brush like tips of the feathers?

This explains a lot with regard to how our frizzle could just pop out in feathers all at once. All of our chickens actually know what they are doing and one day, in the very near future, all of these waxy tubes are going to break open and a bird, we had thought lacking in cover, is going to be wearing a bright and shiny new coat which will, no doubt, be the envy of all.

2 Comments

Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care

2 responses to “Lesson 624 – A new set of feathers for one of our 3 witches

  1. In parrots, those are called blood feathers, and until the feather is ready to emerge, you can easily make a bird bleed to death by breaking that sheath. It’s very itchy, so very (very!) gentle massage and kind of gentle pinching of the sheath seems to feel good. But be careful!

  2. Suddenly Jamie (@suddenlyjamie)

    That is fascinating, Wendy. I had no idea that’s how feathers came in. Really beautiful, too – that blue-black combo is stunning.

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