A few days ago, I was feeding the ladies some strawberry tops (their most coveted delicacy), and I noticed some of the chickens looking a little scraggly around the neck. Namely, that a couple of them had started developing bald spots, and were looking less like healthy backyard chickens and more like free range stray scrappy chickens. Maybe they were going for street cred.
Anyway, I immediately suspected mites, as that causes their feathers to fall out, but the trusty backyard chicken forum set me straight yet again, and informed me that this is a normal molting process. Chickens apparently shed their feathers once a year cuz it's fun or something. Just so you know, this is what we have to look forward to:
And apparently I am encouraged to make chicken capes, since their modesty must not be compromised. They are an honorable fowl, and would prefer to maintain some dignity during this very unfortunate transition.