Well, our Buffy is still at it… She is an extremely good molter, the most impressive of the bunch so far. You can now see all the pin feathers on her neck. Her backside is similar, too. Buffy does look a bit freakish, but it’s amazing to see her new feathers peeking out of the little pinfeathers! It must take a lot of work to grow new feathers, though, because she is ravenous.
Yesterday afternoon, we witnessed some chicken behavior that kind of shocked us: Penny deliberately groomed Buffy. We’ve seen the girls pick things off of each other, especially food, but this was more thoughtful. Buffy stood next to Penny with her neck stretched out, while Penny carefully pulled those small feathers on her neck that Buffy can’t reach while preening herself. Buffy, who is a bit skittish right now because of molting, stood absolutely still. When Penny stopped for a moment, Buffy stretched her neck out even further and stood still until Penny pulled out a few more small feathers. When she finally stopped, Buffy waited another minute or so in stillness, and it really seemed she was hoping for more grooming. It was interesting to watch! Maybe the hens are more intune with each other than we previously thought. This definitely seemed like caretaking behavior.