“Hope is a thing with feathers….”

Monday, September 27, 2011— October’s fullest moon (“Hunter’s”) will rise on the 20th.

Isn’t this Jersey Giant Rooster a knockout? And how about those extra-long neck and tail feathers?

In sunlight these guys absolutely are beautiful, their black feathers become radiantly iridescent and stunning.

My baby chicks, now about five months old have begun to lay. One, a Jersey Giant, has turned out a rooster. True to breed descriptions he’s a gentle fellow. Recently, the long feathers on his neck have begun disappearing, leaving bald spots. I estimated that cooling weather might have him molting, like my rescued racing pigeon, Gilbert. A couple of times annually, Gilbert, frequently stands, spreads wings, and shakes his body to release what seems billions of feathers.

But uh oh, guess what. Molting isn’t behind Jersey’s situation. Now I see that some of the hens regularly pluck and gobble his gorgeous feathers. Chickens commonly eat feathers, do some plucking and find them on the ground. Most surprising now is Jersey’s casualness about being picked on, plucked at by aggressive hens not satisfied with only a single feather.

Like his neck, Jersey’s tail section shows bald spots.

Previously, I’ve had only one flock of baby chicks. It turned-up two little bantam roosers. The first began breeding and became aggressive toward me. He got re-homed. The second then took over, began breeding, and turned against me. He also got re-homed.

This time, I’m hoping my rooster may stay here living and guarding his hens. Currently we’re facing winter’s approach, and he will need feathering abundant and capable of offsetting frequently-severe cold spells.

Dear Friends: Here’s yet another stumble, into a situation unpredictable and confusing. Diana

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