Don: I am by far no expert but I will say this. I have aging hens and roosters that I keep just to watch see how they age... They do lose color in feathers... They get "grey" around the eyes... (feathers lighten) and I will have to go back and compare to see if they actually lose shank color but it wouldn't surprise me... They do lose color in the eggs over their lifetime also.... The first 2 years are the most color productive.. gaining and waining as the season/temp changes.
I actually have a 14 year old barred rock..... (off topic)
Galivina: Cold here too... Just got in from a bicycle ride.... The wind blew right through my Gortex... (didn't know that could happen)... layering up next time. Time to start thinking about winterizing the coop.
Yikes...that does sound cold...I don't think you could catch me out biking in weather like this...nooo way. You are much braver than I