A Short Laying Break

I was all set to write a post about how Twiggy is going into a visible, full molt. Last week I took this photograph of her, with loose feathers all askew. See them at the top of her leg and at the base of her tail? They’re falling out.



I waited to do this post, figuring that by this morning, the coop would be ankle-deep in white feathers – proof that even Twiggy needs to go through her yearly molt. However, I didn’t find feathers. I found this.


Twiggy’s last egg was laid on November 16. It’s been exactly three weeks, which for this White Leghorn over-achiever was a long enough rest. No matter that tomorrow the sunset is the earliest it’ll be all year (just after 4 pm) and I don’t turn on a lightbulb at night. Twiggy is back in production. I’m not surprised that it’s not a standard two-ounce large egg. This one weighed in at over three ounces!

egg weigh

(By the way, if you’re looking for a gift for a chicken keeper, you can’t go wrong with a digital scale. It’s fun and informative to weigh eggs.)

The shell was thin as the finest porcelain, but the inside of the egg was normal. There were two visible whites (yes, there are two in fresh eggs, one around the other, one thinner, one thicker) and a yolk that was a lovely dark color (the Girls have been eating squash) and upright.

It was delicious.

fried egg

I don’t know whether this was a one-off or if she’ll keep laying. I so enjoyed having a good egg for breakfast, but I’d also like to see Twiggy replace those ragged tail feathers with new ones. As with so much of animal keeping, time will tell.


  1. My white Leghorn is in molt also…she hasn’t laid an egg for 1 week. She has no tail feathers to speak of. Her comb is still bright red and healthy looking. She eats like a horse and runs where ever she goes. Lavender will be 2 in April. I also don’t turn on lights to extend laying, but two of my Delawares are laying about 2-4 eggs a week…not bad for December. I love reading about your chickens, thanks Terry:)

  2. Woot! I learned something new today! I had no idea that the earliest sunset (and sunrise) occurred separately from the solstices. Of course, I had to go read about it! :D Ours comes closer to five. Hope Twiggy finally replaces those tail feathers, poor raggedy girl.

  3. Butterscotch my bantam goldtop was hatched late last summer and came to me this July. She has followed a pattern as regular as clockwork of laying for three weeks then going broody and dropping some feathers for two weeks then laying for three weeks and repeating the pattern. She is laying again now and although she drops loads of feathers when she breaks from laying she never looks any different. She is the only one of my eight girls laying and is quite a star. I have never come across this pattern before.

  4. Poor Twiggy. Hopefully she will only lay now and again for a few more weeks. Maggie my Magpie hen is still laying full on, this is 2 years now. Her egg quality is dropping the shell is thin, the white is like water and the yolk although a deep yellow is quite often attached at one end. She laid even when she was molting. Is there anything I can do to help her..?