Little Lucie’s namesake is the sweet, dutiful, golden-haired Lucie Darnay of Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities. Our golden-feathered Lucie is full of herself. Most of our chickens are. For example, there’s Bella (AKA “Hell’s Bells”) who rules the roost with an iron peck. She keeps everyone in line and molting isn’t much of a problem for her as she meets everything head on as a challenge to undertake and pecks the hell out of it when appropriate. Not so with Lucie. Lucie is a”people person” and loves to hang with me in the barnyard. She is always investigating what I do, inspecting things to see if anything has been changed and, if so, is it “Lucie approved.”
This has all changed with the molting season which all the chickens are going through together, some more than others. BTW, if you are keeping chickens for the first time, be aware of this natural phenomenon which alarms many newbies. We have gotten lots of calls from concerned chickens owners who are worried when they see what seems to be tons of feathers strewn about the barnyard. Be aware that molting stresses out the chickens as they lose and grow new feathers. They also will stop laying for a time while the they undergo the transformation. But there is another side to molting which is quite curious.
I am convinced that chickens are vain and a bit prejudiced. Call me crazy but it is what I have observed. They will even shun another chicken who appears different from them and pick on her.
Lucie, I think, because of her good chicken looks, was secretly hoping to be a cover girl of CHICKENS Magazine, BACKYARD POULTRY or the likes. Not only is she pretty but she also has a winning personality. I think that those two attributes go a long way in the chicken-dom as they do in ours and causes just as many issues. Her unrealized modeling aspirations now lie in the trash heap of the barnyard amidst her fallen feathers and dirt.
With the molting, which has hit her particularly hard, she has become withdrawn and moody. She no longer greets me and doesn’t want to hang out anymore but will run and hide when I approach. Sometimes, she even will close her eyes when she sees me as if to say “If I can’t see you, then, obviously, you cannot see me” reminding me of something a two year old human child would do when playing hide and seek. Poor little thing. She is still beautiful to me; but, sans her feathers, especially her tail feathers, she does remind me of a small football. I can only think that “This, too, shall pass” but how do you tell a chicken that? In the meantime, she gets lots of love and kisses.
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