Small Eggs Confusing Me
My girls (10 Rhode Island Reds)seem to be molting. I say "seem to be" because nobody has a bare butt or anything, just some rather minor, but unusual, feather loss going on. Production has been down from the usual 10 eggs per day to about 5 or 6 most days. And they are the TINIEST eggs I've ever seen these ladies produce! One was so small I almost thought a song bird had found her way into my hen house - it was almost all yolk inside. Anyway, today I'm back up to 8 eggs, but they are still very wee. I thought the eggs were supposed to get larger after they molted the first time. If the numbers are coming back up, then I would think some of the girls are finished molting (appearances back this theory), and thus their eggs should be larger than before, not smaller.
Meanwhile, Mr. Roo (Silver Spangled Hamburg, we think)is looking quite skanky. Some tail feathers have fallen out, but others have just thinned and/or broken about halfway down the shaft. The rest of his body looks fine, but that magnificent tail is a mess.
Instead of a molt, could the hens be shedding? It's become suddenly very hot here the last few weeks and my dogs are shedding like crazy. Do birds put on extra feathers for winter, too? (Okay, I know I'm probably giving y'all a good laugh here!)
Can anybody enlighten me about what may be going on with my dear flock? Any ideas would be appreciated.