I know, I know. But I had to. It was better than the alternative. Which would be me losing sleep due to anxiety.
Miss Marple, just started molting. AKA her old feathers are being replaced by fresh new ones. Most hens molt once a year. If all goes well, they molt anywhere from September through November. If, for some reason their cycle is thrown off, they will molt at weird times. Miss Marple, because of human influences, is molting late. And quickly. We have a light bulb in our coop. Intended to increase egg production into the winter months. Lyra’s molting wasn’t effected by this at all…but Miss Marple is another story. She held on to her feathers and when she stopped laying a few days ago, she started losing all her feathers almost at once. She’s got big patches of skin exposed to the wind, rain and cold. Her new feathers aren’t growing in fast enough to cover the exposed areas.
With the evening lows dropping nowadays and with Lyra pecking Miss Marple’s back and exposed skin, I figured I should look into what to do when she’s pretty much plucked.
Welcome, the hen jumper.
Yeah it looks like a diaper with a waste hole…but it goes the other way around. Made out of fleece and velcro (hand-me-down fleece with horses on it..ha ha) which is quick to dry if it gets wet. It fits perfectly around her chest and back, allowing her wings to move freely and with no risk of her legs getting caught. This also prevents Lyra from pecking away at Miss Marple’s bare back.
So there you have it. Miss Marple might have to start wearing this thing at night, depending on how the rest of her molting goes.