Chicken Update - Cannibalism, Molting, Broody Hen and a Death

Costa Rica Rooster
Junior the Rooster - 17 months old

The last chicken update was at the end of July. I am very happy to report the medication for tapeworms did work. Unfortunately, during this time Pretty Lady died. I posted a photo of her in the last update. Mario told me he heard unusual breathing from her the day before she died and thought she was sick. I wasn't ready or willing to do an autopsy so this is another mysterious death. Pretty Lady is from the second generation and was about 17 months old. Too young to die...

Costa Rica Hen
Lil' Sweet - 17 months old

One of the hen's circadian rhythm is off and occasionally lays an egg from the roost in the middle of the night. I think it's Lil' Sweet that has been doing this. By the time I get to the palace the morning, some of these night-laid eggs have been completely, or partially eaten by the hens. Apparently, if the egg isn't in the nest they consider it food. This is not a good development.

broody hen in nest
Brownie - 9 months old

Brownie is currently broody for the first time. I was in the palace and saw she was laying on two eggs. I came back in the afternoon to gather the eggs and found only one under her. The egg that was there had some raw egg yolk on it, from the other egg. The shell from the second egg was completely gone. Like I said above, this is not a good habit. I read that once a chicken learns how tasty raw eggs are it can be impossible to break the habit. Now, every time I go inside the palace I look under her for eggs to collect.

Costa Rica Hen
Grey Neck - 26 months old

Costa Rica Hen
Blondie and Ruby - 26 months old

Costa Rica Hen
Virginia - 17 months old

Meanwhile, most of the rest of the ladies have been molting. For about a week there were feathers everywhere! Some of the smaller wild birds collect the feathers for nest building. Molting means the egg production has dramatically dropped. Perhaps the timing of this is good, with fewer eggs being laid maybe the hens will forget how good they taste! 

Costa Rica Hen
Mini - 9 months old