Snowflakes and Snowball

News from the Edible Schoolyard today is chicken themed and winter themed. Our older hen, Snowball, is the only hen old enough to molt. When a hen molts, she loses her primary flight feathers and many other feathers over a period of six to eight weeks, then grows lovely new feathers. When a flock is all the same age, they often all molt on more or less the same schedule. Well, our older hen Snowball, who came as a “trainer hen” from a local farmer, is of an age that she is molting. Our other birds are all still young enough that they will not molt until probably early to mid fall of 2011. But, being curious birds with need for social order (a “pecking order” literally), they have decided that our trainer hen Snowball is now at the bottom of the pecking order. They are pecking at her new tail feathers which causes bleeding, which makes them want to peck more…so she has moved to an isolation/recovery ward in the greenhouse. I’ll keep you posted on her recovery and new feather growth.

The rest of our news in winter themed. Today we are making paper snowflakes to decorate the big garden windows. We had a few real snowflakes in town yesterday, so we thought it would be fun to recreate the flurries and decorate for winter at the same time. If you haven’t made snowflakes in years-maybe not since elementary school-come by and show your children what fun it is to craft their own unique flakes!

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