Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chicken Q & A

In a new twist, this blog entry features pictures that aren't mine!

Why? Because I've had several e-mails about the chickens. The two most common questions are: 1. - Why did you decide to get all different kinds of chickens? and 2. - What will they look like when they're full grown?

Question number 1 - We look on these chickens as really cool pets that, as a bonus, are also prolific egg layers. We specifically chose to get different varieties so that we'd be able to name and tell them apart from one another. Plus, all the chickens turn out to be so beautiful when they mature that we couldn't really pick only one breed. All but one (that'd be Pearl) of the breeds we chose lay brown eggs, which I seem to prefer. I know an egg is an egg is an egg, but I can't help it. Ya like what ya like, you know?

Question number 2 - What will they look like? Beautiful!! Here, let me show you:

Our Mimi is an Australorp, like the hen in the picture. Their feathers are black with shimmering green, blue and purple highlights in the sun. She stands very straight and tall and will meet Gracie at the run door, ready to play. She's really funny how she follows Fifi around the coop and will squawk loudly the entire time I hold Fifi - until she's back in the pen with the door closed.

Fifi is a Barred Rock hen. Besides the beautiful patterning, her feathers are unbelievably soft - like holding a clucking teddy bear! Boy, that's an odd mental image, no? I love sitting with Fifi in the yard, petting her wonderful feathers and feeding her bananas (her favorite food). She really is an awesome chicken!

Lucy will be this gorgeous reddish chestnut color. Rhode Island Reds are Dean's favorite type of chicken and I have to confess, Lucy is our current favorite chick. She was (and still is) the tiniest chick we've got and yet she stands up to all the bigger chicks with absolutely no fear. She used to stand on their backs and peck at their feathers and toes. She got her name, Lucy, short for Lucifer, because we realized she was an ounce of pure, feathered evil for the first week of life! As a matter of fact, we had to temporarily isolate her from the other chicks so they could sleep in peace. She has mellowed, but I can definitely see this girl ruling the roost!

Ahhhhhh...Nadine. This gorgeous girl is a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte and quite possible the most beautiful kind of chicken I've ever seen in real life. I don't know why they're called "blue laced" when the feathers are gray, but I'm the most excited about watching our fuzzy little chick grow into this beauty. The only thing prettier than a BLR Wyandotte hen is a BLR Wyandotte rooster! (Do a Google image search and see what I mean!) Unfortunately, it's looking like my Nadine might actually be a Ned. *sigh* We're going to wait another week or so, but it looks like the hackles (neck feathers) are growing faster than any of the other chicks. Plus, she's the same age as Bella but easily twice her size. From what I've been reading, both are indications that our chick is most likely a cockerel and not a pullet.

Pearl is a white Leghorn, like this group of hens. To me, these are what pops into my mind when I hear the word chicken. She will be the only white egg layer in our flock and seriously, how cute is that floppy comb? I probably sound the least excited about this chicken, and the truth is - I am - sorry. We got Pearl (along with Lola) at a chick giveaway in Roswell the day before Easter. And while I did want a white chicken, what I really wanted was one of these:

Light Sussex Hen or Columbian Wyandotte/Rock
(They look pretty much the same to me!)

It certainly isn't Pearl's fault that I have poor impulse control. The people at the giveaway told us we got to pick 2, so I picked 2 instead of the 1 (Lola) we had intended to get. Ha! Watch Pearl turn out to be the best chicken of the flock!!

Bella is our Golden Laced Wyandotte. This picture is a litte darker than the Wyandottes we saw in the breeder's pens, but you can get the general idea. They're really pretty with all the outlining around the feathers and are supposed to have the same gentle temperment as the Barred Rocks (like my precious Fifi!) Bella is a funny little chick and I can't wait til more of her gorgeous feathers grow in!

Is Lola a Golden Comet?

Lola is something of a mystery chick and we've been having a lot of fun trying to guess from her chick-y puffball coloring what she really is. So far, we think we've narrowed the possibilities to 2 breeds: Red Star or Golden Comet

Or is she a Red Star?

It really doesn't matter either way. They're both beautiful breeds of chickens that are very similar in color and are supposedly egg-laying machines. And honestly? I just like having more redheads around...even if those heads are feathered!!


ginny said...

I agree with you, Jena. Nadine (hopefully not Ned), the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, is the prettiest one of the bunch!

Kate said...

Love the Barred Rock, so chic in black and white!