|Left to right: Egg, Jane, and Lizzy|
I have evolved as much as the chickens have. Our first coop was kind of a hodge-podge of a coop with a run attached, where they spent most of their time. Our coop in the back now is very small still, but the chickens spend all of their time outside of it. They only sleep in the coop. They have built themselves a semi-permanent nest to lay in, but I often find eggs all over the yard. It's a bit like an Easter egg hunt! Each chicken here at the house is a different variety, unlike the farm where we have three or four main types. I also have the chickens with problems here, the main coop at the farm is too tough for some of these girls that need a little extra TLC. So here at the house, they get a second chance to spread their wings!
This is Lizzy. She was named for Elizabeth from "Pride and Prejudice"written by Jane Austen, one of my all time favorite girlie books. How can you be a girl and not love that book and Mr. Darcy...swoon!!! Lizzy is our prize winning chicken. She took best of show at the Davis County Fair last year. She is a Black Sex Link, and she rules the roost. She is the Queen...totally in charge, and she has an entourage of sorts! Two of the other girls are constantly by her side, catering to her every need. Lizzy lays huge brown eggs. Her eggs are beautiful!
This is Egg, short for Egglentine (from "The Guardians"). Egg is an Araucana, and she is so beautiful. She was the kids' most favorite chick, so she got held a lot. She is very sweet, when you approach her, she crouches down so that you can pick her up. Araucanas in general are great with kids, they have a very even temperament. She lays the most beautiful khaki colored green eggs. She loves to be held, and she loves to put her head underneath other chickens...weird...but true. She likes to be sat on??? She is one of the three dominant chickens, what Egg says, goes!
|Don't you love the shape of a chicken?|
Jane, I had a very hard time getting a picture of. She is our Silver Laced Wyandotte at the end of the line. She is one of the three dominant girls, and is a bit harder to hold than the others. She is flighty and doesn't want much to do with the kids. Wyandottes are a little more aggressive, I wouldn't recommend them as a backyard flock unless your kids spend a tremendous amount of time with them as chicks. They are also a little more prone to disease. These chickens are the first in our large flock to show any sign of problems, but they work well as a single chicken in a backyard flock. Jane is absolutely gorgeous! She is named for "Jane Eyre" written by Charlotte Bronte, one of my other favorite girlie books...ohhh...Edward Rochester...swoon again!!! Jane lays large brown eggs.
I have written about Helen before. She is an Araucana that is blind. She spends most of her time walking around the coop and basking in the sun. I am certain that she has cataracts, but not much can be done for a blind chicken! She is very relaxed, loves to be held, and loves it when the kids pet her. She was named for Helen Keller who overcame great obstacles in her life to be one of the strongest women of all time! Her name started out as a joke, suggested by a surgeon that I work with, but it really is meaningful. Helen Keller broke so many barriers for people with disabilities, she is a hero among women. Helen lays light brown almost pink eggs, but not often, she is older so she has slowed down. When she does lay, it's usually in a goofy spot in the yard. She doesn't know where the nest is so she plops down anywhere and lays an egg, stands up and moves on.
This is Fluffy. Will named this chicken, I can't imagine your surprise. We got her last summer as an adult, so we didn't get a chance to hold her as a chick. She is a Silkie and is very shy. The boys love her because she has a funny hairdo. When they can catch her, they drag her around for hours petting her soft silky feathers. Fluffy has a blue beak, skin, and earlobes which are supposed to reflect the color of eggs that she lays. She does lay little blue-green eggs and she would be a marvelous mother. She is very protective of Captain Jackie and she loves to sit on her eggs.
This is Captain Jackie, I have written about her so many times. This is Will's chicken. He named her Captain Jackie after Captain Jack Sparrow. She walks like a pirate because she has some sort of hip dysplasia problem. Will adores this chicken. He talks to her, plays with her, swings with her, goes down the slide with her, and she adores Will. She peeps for him when she wants to be held. They really are two peas in a pod! She hardly ever lays, I think it's because she isn't quite normal. When she does lay, she lays a dark brown egg that is pretty small. She has had a few set backs this winter, but with the weather warming up, she seems to be doing better. She requires a tremendous amount of TLC, I don't know how long she will last, but since she is Will's favorite girl, I have to keep working with her.
We love having the chickens. They are a source of great entertainment for us. Just watching the pecking order play out is so amusing. Each chicken has a very distinct personality with likes and dislikes. These six girls are very much a part of our family! I think the next few animals that I will introduce will include the farm cats, the horse, and goat. It's such great energy being surrounded by all of these wonderful animals, I really love being with all of them.