Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All My Chickens

These are the lovely chicken breeds I'm a proud Mother Hen of:

One of them we named Constance because she was attacked by a dog and we thought she wouldn't survive. My mom and my husband told me we should probably just put her down, but I couldn't do it yet. I wrapped her wing with gauze and we poured Hydgrogen Peroxide on her open wound to hopefully kill the doggie germs. Her wing drooped to the side, so I wrapped her wing to hold it up so she would stop tripping on it - the poor thing would try to walk but keep tripping and falling on her own wing, and just lay there on her back with her feet straight up in the air. Even after wrapping it close to her body, she was totally off balance and still fell over. A few times when I went down there, I thought she was dead, but she'd look up at me with these sad eyes, so I'd put her back on her feet again and would take her close to the food and water. She eventually pulled through and is one of the more friendly chickens now, and runs up to my feet when she sees me coming. We named her Constance because she just kept on keeping on! The other Delawares are also pretty outgoing and friendly. I really like their personalities - a great family bird, if you are looking for a breed for families, I'd highly recommend this one. They lay large brown eggs and will be a pretty steady layer. They are white with black speckled "necklace" and tipped wings and tail - the picture is of one looking for bugs in my lavender garden!

Rhode Island Reds:
They are pretty boring as far as personality goes. I did name one Fergie because they are redheads! They are friendly, I guess you could say, since they don't peck at you, but they are a lot more shy compared to our other birds, and they tend to just follow the flock rather than lead. They lay brown eggs and will be pretty reliable layers. A good utility bird, but not as "fun" as a pet in my opinion because of their lack of personality.

One of our Leghorn chickens, Gertie, has her own special spot to lay her eggs in front of the basement's bathroom window behind our house (She is one of 2 Leghorns we still have: her sister's name is Chicken, thanks to my Husband - I allowed him to name one of the chickens and this is what I get. He says it's so that if we ever need to eat that one, we will say we're having "Chicken" for dinner, rather than saying we'll have Daisy for dinner... I guess he has a good reasoning there. Her other sister fell victim to the vicious suburban coyote). She is the one who always escapes out of the chicken coop area (there is one part at the top that is not fenced) and clucks around at large in our yard. She is very sneaky and fast! They lay white eggs and lots of them - sometimes multiple eggs in one day from one chicken!

Black Australorps:
They are also very friendly, but are not very outgoing. They don't really try to fight it when you pick them up, and they don't really try to escape. A very gentle breed - in my opinion, would be great with kids, but every chicken is different, so you never know what you're going to get, but in my experience, they are all gentle! One of them turned out to be a rooster! We had named "her" Big Bertha because she was humongous compared to the others, but we soon realized we'd have to rename her, so we chose Franz and the name... click HERE for the full story about him. The ladies lay brown eggs and are a large bird compared to the others we have. One of them we named Daisy - she was the smallest of them all when they were baby chicks, but now she has outgrown them all! She has a very sweet-looking face, almost a "baby-face" with these big doe eyes. The others we can't really tell apart. This is Franz in the photo.

Easter Eggers - Americana Mutts:
They are my favorites of the lot as far as their feather coloring goes, and will also lay naturally GREEN eggs! Fun! Click HERE and in the post there is a picture of our first green egg. They also have really cute puff-ball cheeks! We got our first green egg the other day, and got our 2nd green egg yesterday morning. They range in color from gray and brown, to caramel, to white and gray! They all have names because they are all so distinct - Henrietta (is gray and brown with blonde tips), Carmel (is caramel colored with white accents), Stella (is white with gray tips - her wings look like beautiful angel wings!) and Lynette (gray and white with a caramel breast)... and Fluffy the rooster - click HERE for his story! They each have their own personalities, it's funny! Henrietta and Carmel are always doing their own thing, not necessarily following the flock, but Henrietta is not as outgoing with us humans as Carmel - Carmel comes running for me when she sees me coming, especially when she can see I have food! Stella and Lynette are definitely followers and are more shy. Fluffy is outgoing and gentle for a rooster - he doesn't mind being picked up or shewed out of the way. I think it's because he was always manhandled by my daughter when he was young, because he was her chick, so he's pretty used to humans. The picture is of my son trying to feed Lynette a rock. She wasn't a taker. Fluffy was pictured in the top photo.

Cukoo Marans:
They are our babies still - only 4 months old and we brought them into the rest of the herd, with much resistance from the natives - we definitely ruffled some feathers with that move! Click HERE for the full story about our experience with "the pecking order"! They have really cool coloring - black and white speckles (they look similar to a Barred Rock chicken, if you are familiar with those) and will lay DARK, chocolate brown eggs! I'm pretty excited to see those! We'll have a rainbow of colors come Easter time! Click HERE to see a couple photos of our naturally multi-colored eggs we have so far! I can't really tell their personalities so far, but one of them kind of pecks at me when I bring them food but the other one doesn't do that at all. They are named Pippi and Penny. Peggy was their sister - I'll save the story about Peggy for another day.

Click HERE to my post with some Pros and Cons with Chicken ownership!

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