I went out and snapped some random portraits of some of the girls on the farm, and thought I would share a few!
Dee, a favorite little hen on the farm, was posing so very sweetly in the chicken house window. Dee is a pip-squeak of a bird. She is quite comfortable perching on my finger. She *might* stand 7" tall. Maybe...when she's strutting.
Penny thought posing in the window was a great idea, so she hopped into the next window over. She has apparently been busy preening her feathers... you'll notice the little fuzzy feathers stuck to her beak and eyelash. The chickens are a little "unkempt" lately. The yards are a mess after the recent rain... and I can't keep them out of the mud. At least they're happy!
Weezie is one of the "show girls" on the farm. Her headdress hides her eyes, so she shakes her head side to side (kind of in a crazy way) so she can see. Weezie (formerly Ms Taylor) almost didn't make it last fall. She spent a couple of weeks in Chicken ICU, where I fed her and cared for her while she recovered from a very serious case of *something* that caused her airway to almost completely block. Amazingly enough, she survived... and today, she's as sassy as ever.
The four Cuckoo Marans hens are doing really well. They're not laying as frequently as the Golden Comet girls, but at least they're laying on occasion. Their eggs are a beautiful dark brown color. Marans are a very sought after breed due to the dark color of their eggs' shells.
I have three Welsummer hens, and they also lay an egg with a very rich brown colored shell. Possibly the prettiest brown egg on the farm! I would definitely like to keep Welsummer hens in the flock. They're nice, big hens, and lay nice big eggs that are pretty in the carton!
This is one of my three Black Copper Marans hens (also posing in a coop window). They are the most high-dollar hen we have on the farm. Not too long ago, a dozen hatching eggs on eBay would bid as high as $300. Quite a crazy price to pay, if you ask me. Now that there are more Black Copper "breeders" in the states, prices seem to have dropped. I have three Black Copper hens, and I refer to them as "the Frenchies" -- the breed originated in France, and has just recently been thriving in the states. I also used to have Moose, a Black Copper Marans rooster (also a very high dollar bird). Moose was going to be a very lucky boy, as I was going to use him for breeding. He was a beautiful bird, with good breed standard qualities. However, Moose had a really bad habit of attacking my legs when I was in the chicken yard. And Moose was a BIG boy... I decided that I didn't want to risk breeding his bad manners into my flock, so Moose was relocated to a new home, where he may have been served up for dinner. Everyone and everything must get along here on the farm... bad manners are inexcusable.
Dot, one of our two Guinea hens, was busy telling the neighborhood that I was in the chicken yard. Guinea hens talk all the TIME. And not quietly, either! They are good alarms... they say "Buck-WHEAT" over and over and over... ugly little thing, isn't she!
This little gal doesn't have a name yet. She is a farmyard mix, often referred to as an Easter-Egger. She just started laying pretty little green shelled eggs. She is one of Dark Brown Hen's babies... poor Dark Brown Hen... we miss her.