I think the chickens are starting to molt. I'm seeing more feathers in the coop and on the ground and egg production has really slackened off. I've seen some pictures of molting chickens online, and it's possible that they will lose almost all feathers. So far my chickens still have most of their feathers. I have to say that featherless chickens are pretty unattractive (ha, ha, if you can be pretty unattractive).
I am pleased to report that Ethel and Rosemary have stopped brooding. They brooded for most of the summer, which was quite annoying. They didn't lay any eggs most of the summer, and by constantly laying on the eggs, they made collecting the eggs a bit harder.
Now that the weather has become less severe I've been able to spend more time outside with the hens. I'm not saying that chickens are as companionable as dogs, but I do think they are pretty sweet creatures. Not that this is a new idea for me, but I guess not spending as much time with them, I kind of forgot just how sweet they are.