Bear Spots and Bare Spots

We live less than 30 miles outside of Boston, but there’s lots of wildlife around here. Just last week a black bear came and smashed our bird feeders to bits and ate all of the highly caloric, fattening sunflower seeds, which is the ideal meal for a big animal that needs to bulk up before hibernation. We’ve bought another feeder, but will wait to put seed out until the bear is sound asleep.

Several of you have asked why some of the hens are bare around their vents (that’s a chicken term for “butt”). Snowball is at least partly to blame. When the hens loll about, taking dust baths, Snowball pecks at the now easy-to-reach vent feathers. She’s little and never draws blood. Annoying, but rarely so bad that the bathers bother to get up. Chickens pick up weird habits.

Oh, and by the way, Candy is fine, she’s just shedding big clumps of fur. Her way of getting ready for winter. Yes, the leaves are beginning to turn colors. Summer is over.

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