"Molting" is one of those words that sounds exactly as it is: gross-me-out, gag-me-with-a-spoon, molting is revolting. Seriously. There's nothing cute about a laying hen with half her feathers on the henhouse floor. (Picture mange. Only poultry. And you know, natural rather than fungi-created.)
You'd think everything about my sweet little fluffy egg producers would appeal to me. But you'd be wrong, because as molting creatures they are mostly featherless and charmless creatures. Also I have been (gasp) buying eggs, which annoys me to no end. Once you've switched to free range eggs there's almost no going back. Unless you have to make cookies. So I'm buying eggs.
And ... I'm feeding cat food to the hens. I heard this farm girl tip from one of the old-timers at the general store. Something in the cat food supposedly makes their molting stage speed up and their cute fluffy egg-laying selves return.
Who knew I could be so fickle?