Tuesday, 30 November 2010


I know it's been just a week but we're becoming seriously sick of the snow. I can't get my car out of the drive and three home ed events we had been really looking forward to this week have been cancelled due to the inclement conditions. Worse still, I have been persuaded to do what I said I would never do - allow a hen to stay in the house.

Merlin is a queer beastie. We've had her for about two years and she's never laid for us. She lays her eggs in obscure places and on the rare occasions that we do find them there is often loads and we don't know how long they have been there. Good job we love her. Well, in keeping with her odd nature she began to molt a couple of weeks ago. It always surprises me that hens molt in autumn (that's the norm) as I would have thought they would molt in summer when it's warmer. Anyway, Merlin has to go one better and wait till we have well over a foot of snow and night time temperatures of -9 *sigh*.

I don't have a picture of Merlin in her current condition but for anyone not familiar with a molting hen, this is what they look like. First they loose almost all of their feathers, then they become spiky like the picture above. If you look closely you will see that the end of the spikes are beginning to fan out. This will increase and they turn into feathers as we know them. Merlin is currently in the bald/very early spikes stage. She's been cowering and standing around like a statue outside so we have been bringing her in late afternoon and taking her out and putting her in the greenhouse during the day. She's smelly. I'll say it again, it's a good job we love her.

Thankfully the enforced reduction in life pace is helping to ensure that nana takes things slowly after her op. She's home and doing fine. Thanks to everyone who has been in touch and wished her well.

Hmmmm.... we've ice skated, sledged, bum skidded, snowballed, built snow men, dug numerous paths for our hens and bunnies, played hide and seek the icicle. Time for a bit of sunshine perhaps?

It's so bad round here that I had a call this morning to say that our local community hospital was closing today due to the weather. I was secretly relieved as I can't say that physio is my favourite activity.

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Anonymous said...

we have some snow but not too bad. Glad nana is recovering well. Poor Merlin!


Claire said...

Lots more snow fallen today and Merlin is back in the conservatory tonight :-)