Our laying flock is full of lovely little and large fowl ladies with fabulous personalities - anyone who gets along well with our flock has a place for life, whether they are laying or not. Our flock has been strictly selected for personality (they must be docile and gentle or they go to new owners). This flock does not have a rooster - just a big flock of happy layers, both large fowl and bantam!
Ameraucana bantam, Blue Wheaten: Tommy
Tommy is NOT impressed by our splash mille fleur rooster :)
Tommy loves to perch on my arm.
Sweet sweet Tommy getting some love
Australorps: DOUBLE and RAVEN
Double, code name "Esperalda," is a baby lovin' bundle of feathers. Petite, but with an attitude not often seen outside of an Hispanic soap opera, Double gets along with everyone. Except Betsy (who is about 5 times her size). We are not sure why our smallest Australorp despises one of our biggest chickens - perhaps just because she can. However, they maintain tentative peace unless one is broody with chicks, so it works out. Double lays a surprisingly large brown egg on a regular basis. But she does go broody about 3 times a year. A very good mama!
Raven - our airheaded sweetheart with the call that sounds like "balloooooooooons?" We love this girl, even though she loves to go broody - and is a terrible mother, forgetting about her chicks after about a week. We just let her sit for a few weeks, then put her in a cage to help her hormones go back to normal ("breaking" a broody). Of course, once I put her in a large cage - and she promptly jumped around so much that she broke her foot! So then I had to let her sit on eggs to keep her still while it healed. So now she only goes into smaller cages. Raven lays a large brown egg. And she hops up onto my lap, perching on my knee, several times a day! Raven also holds the dubious title "Queen of the Broodies." For some unknown reason, she brooded a cement block for three weeks. Twice.
Raven likes chicks - she just prefers eggs!
Brooding a cement block (for the first time)
And.... for the second time.
My lap girl Raven does not seem impressed with mama's shenanigans.
Beautiful silly Raven.
Barred Rocks: CLEOPATRA
So, Cleo is not a great representative of the breed (hatchery birds often are not). She has more of a cuckoo pattern instead of stripes, and weirdly, she has spurs! BUT, we adore this bird. Truthfully, she is one of my favorites. She lays a nice sized light brown egg, often with white spots and little bumps. And she sits on my lap every single day. She loves to be stroked, then falls asleep all cuddled up. Cleo is our head hen, and keeps everyone in line. But she is such a gentle leader - she inspects all new chicks, then gives interlopers the evil eye if she sees them bothering the babies.
My dear dear girl.
Watching the flock from on high!
I'm watching you!
What did you say???
I'm watching you. Don't you forget it!
Belgian d'Uccle: Crookshanks
Crookshanks, our special little girl, almost wasn't. The electricity went out twice while she incubated - and I should have tossed the eggs. But our bantam Easter Egger Ping had been broody three weeks, and really needed babies, so I gave her the eggs and she hatched out Crookshanks! Crookshanks has a parrot beak that twists to the side. Normally a chicken's beak goes out, but hers has a steep curve down. We weren't sure if she would survive, and Ping took care of her for six months, tucking her into a nest box every night until the week before Crookshanks lay her first egg! Since she was hen raised, Crookshanks has no interest in people, but she adores her flock. She has no idea that she is tiny or special needs, and she busily bustles around all day, the cutest little hen ever! She's super had to photograph, since she thinks all people are to be avoided, but we love our special little girl - she always brings a smile to our face when she hangs out with her favorite buddy, our huge cochin Lenore!
Brabanters, Cream: HEI-HEI
*Hei-Hei was aptly named - she is a bit scatty and a bit chatty. But this sweet girl is a hoot to watch with her polka dots, beard, crest, and blue legs! She lays a white egg - our only white egg layer! Hei-Hei has an amazing voice - you can hear it all the way up at the house. And she loves loves loves to comment on everything. She bullies newcomers, stumbles over chicks, sticks her head into everything. And we adore her!
Note the two horned comb - very apt.
She looks so innocent, doesn't she?
So lovely, such a troublemaker!
Brahmas, Light: MARY
Mary, our biggest brahma, sails through life like a battleship. Calm and sweet, Mary loves to be in the middle of the action - especially if the action involves her favorite food - cabbage! Mary lays a nice large brown egg with small brown spots - surprising for a brahma!
Cochins: Lenore (LF), Daphne (bantam)
Lenore is a giant cochin! This lovely girl is very shy, but boy what a beauty! She also goes broody constantly, and loves nothing more than to hang out with the babies. She lays a couple of eggs, goes broody, raises chicks for a couple of months, lays a couple eggs, goes broody....
Holding court as a young pullet
Lenore was the only girl brave enough to check out the snow!
A seriously awesome mama. All chicks love her.
A rare Lenore sighting between chicks!
This is a BIG hen!
The end, and what a fluffy end!
Cochin, Bantam Frizzle: DAPHNE
Everyone (including us) adores Daphne. Who wouldn't love a chicken who walks like a tank, loves lap time, can't fly, and looks like she went through a jet engine backwards? Daphne's build keeps her low to the ground - she has a step so she can get up to the lowest nest box! Daphne is also our most loyal bird - she goes into depression for several days if someone from her flock dies. She love her family dearly.
Crested Cochin (mix by David Bolander): Indiana
Indiana is a little fireball of a chicken with a big crest and a bigger attitude. She has silkie and bantam cochin in her background. We love our little lady!
Indiana LOVES her fermented food!
Always posing, our little lady snuck into my flower garden!
We have a bit of fun with Indiana when she's broody -she will sit on anything! I don't think that rock will hatch though!
Indiana is a fierce and fabulous mama!
Often mis-named Ameraucanas by hatcheries, our Easter Eggers lay large eggs in a variety of lovely colors ranging from a modern olive green to a pale robin egg's blue. In case you wondered, Easter Eggers usually have an Ameraucana parent and .... another parent. So, you end up with a bird, often a green egg layer, who may have cheek muffs, a beard, or none of the above. True Ameraucanas always have beards and muffs, only lay blue eggs, and come in a very few approved colors.
Large Fowl Easter Eggers: CASHMERE, HAWK, MUPPET, PHOENIX, RILEY (large fowl)
Cashmere - our timid sweetheart - loves to forage during free-range time. Though she doesn't seek our laps, Cashmere adores her flockmates and is one of our most docile birds! A large healthy hen, Cashmere lays our modern olive egg - lovely with a nice sheen to it. One of my secret favorites. She avoids contact at all times, but EVERY time we go on vacation and come home, she takes a nap right by my boots for three days before ignoring me again. She loves me.
Just got back from vacation! And who is at my feet? This girl!
Back from another vacation. And back at my feet.
Hawk, often called "Hawk the Bawk" for absolutely no reason, loves to hop into our laps for a brief hello. She gets along with everyone, but has no problem putting a social climber back into her place. Hawk, a true sweetie, lays a matte green egg, somewhere between moss and olive.
Young Hawk, so beautiful.
Watching those below.
Interestingly, Hawk's patterning has become more beautiful with each molt!
Muppet, our biggest girl, also gets the prize for the longest egg. Nicknamed "the green bullet," Muppet's egg garners much attention, since the egg carton can't close with her egg inside! Another docile girl - Muppet loves her flockmates. She is a bit shy, but warms up if she knows and trusts you.
Phoenix - the individual Easter Eggers don't usually go broody, but Phoenix is one of our star mothers. Protective and a great mom, Phoenix defends her nest from all intruders. But when she's not broody, Phoenix mixes well with the flock. She is a sweet little girl who doesn't ask for attention - but loves to come visit when you are sitting all by yourself. Phoenix lays a very pale ethereal blue egg. (and Phoenix has never gone broody again after the first year. Easter Eggers are actually known for NOT going broody, so we feel happy that we got to see her be a mommy at least once).
Riley, our darkest Easter Egger, lays our prettiest blue egg. She is a champion egg layer, and like all of our girls, completely docile to handle. Though not at the top of the pecking order, Riley has secured a window perch and loves to look out on the world.
The New Easter Egger Generation: Not
Old English, bantam
Polly almost lives in my lap. She follows me around everywhere, watching everything! Polly is a favorite with everyone who meets her!
Such a dainty sprite when she was young!
Actually, she's still a dainty little sprite now that she's full grown!
I just adore this special girl!
Meet Reepicheep, another Old English bantam! She has neat fibro coloring, resulting in dark legs, comb, and shiny black feathers with a green and purple sheen. Reep is our tiniest hen, and a darling girl! She was named Reepicheep after the Narnian mouse, since she was so tiny!
Gorgeous little mama, with giant adopted chicks!
It gets really hard to cover those babies when you are so tiny!
Beautiful beautiful Reepicheep
Reepicheep is such a fabulous mama!
Orpington, American Buff: PUMPKIN
Pumpkin, a gorgeous creamsicle of a chicken, religiously lays a lovely brown egg. Unless she is broody, when she switches over to super mom! Pumpkin's favorite activity is to peck my leg insistently until I pick her up. Yes, we've tried getting rid of this, but nothing works. She just keeps a'peckin' until she gets the love. Then she settles right down in my lap for a little snooze. Love this girl!
Orpington, English Heritage: BETSY
Betsy, a huge adorable ball of chocolate feathers, loves to sidle up to us and blink her sweet eyes. She is just the sweetest, shyest, broodiest girl around. But that's what orpingtons are known for! She lays a medium brown egg with a nice sheen. I seriously want to hug this chicken/teddybear. And sometimes I do. She is very forgiving.
Our lovely Mooka always inspires sighs of "oh how beautiful!" with her lovely red golden feathers all laced with black. But don't let her delicate feathers deceive you! Mooka, one of the top hens, puts everyone in their place - Wyandottes are known for their "in your face" personalities. In fact, for a Wyandotte, Mooka is quite laid back - she only pecks others when they enter her space. So no one enters her bubble! Mooka rarely visits, but about once a month I get a wonderful surprise when Mooka leaps up into my lap for a little lovin'. Strong and hearty, Mooka is the queen of foraging, even eating a foot long snake one day! Mooka lays a nice medium large brown egg.