My weekend and evenings this week have been spent getting the new coop all set up and ready for residents. I'm not completely done with all the details, but was able to get everyone moved in earlier this week. I haven't taken photos of the coop in detail yet, so I will snap a few shots this weekend and share. Until then, I thought I'd share some of the lucky residents!
I decided that since the coop was small, I would make it the bantam coop (and for now anyway, baby geese coop). This is Wiley in the middle of a bunch of his lady friends. Wiley is the only adult rooster in the coop. And I think he's pretty happy about that! And so are the girls! I think I have a few young male silkies and maybe a young male frizzle or two as well, but they're young enough it's still hard to tell. They can stay in this coop until they start being punks. Then they'll go into the larger coop with the big girls and boys, who will do a better job at keeping them in line.
Oh, and if you're wondering what bantams are, they are small chicken breeds as opposed to standard sized chicken breeds. The larger chicken house and yard (which we've had for several years) will be for the standards, ducks, my other two geese, and a few bantams that will do better just staying where they are.
I was happy to be able to move some of the older bantams into the new coop. This is Lovey, my oldest frizzle Cochin hen (she is the last of the Tiny Tim, Little Buddy, Ginger gang). I'm hoping that with less attention from roosters, her feathers will grow in on her poor little nake head, back, and neck. I'm also hoping that with a little extra TLC, she'll get a little more spunk. She's looking a little rough around the edges.
This is Peeper, the oldest chicken on the farm. She hatched 9 years ago... that's old! She was picked on by other birds from a young age. At one point, she got eye injuries that pretty much left her w/out her outer eyelids. Poor thing! I was thrilled to be able to move her into the new coop where she's not the smallest, or most timid one in the group.
I haven't put the trim up around the chicken door yet... but it's on the project list. I did get a nice ladder built though, with steps spaced just right for short bantam legs! Nutmeg is checking things out.
I will take a few more photos this weekend, and share some of the other details of the coop. I've been getting requests for an update -- thank you for your interest! It's fun sharing their new digs with you!
This chick was also a temporary house guest. At a fairly young age she seemed to develop a palsy which made life in the coop with the other chickens very difficult. She had a hard time keeping up with the other babies, had a hard time keeping herself on her feet, and had a tendency to get stuck places she couldn't get herself out of. So while I was out west visiting friends, Alan brought her inside for extra TLC. I love coming home to house chickens! *grin*
Anyway, I thought you might like a little update on this little cutie!
Turns out, she wasn't a she after all, but a HE! After a few weeks of in-house TLC, he showed great improvement. While he still gets the shakes and sometimes completely topples over, it's not as frequent as before. He now has much better control over his muscles. He returned to the coop with the others, but has his own 3'x4' brooder to hang out in when he has difficult days. I call it his bachelor pad. He's face to face with all the other chickens, and sings to all the ladies.
It is not an uncommon occurrence for us to have a temporary house chicken. Thankfully they're small and don't take up much room. They are cheerful and most grateful for the attention. Most of them get to rejoin the flock after a day or two of housebound TLC.
But this little gal might need a bit more care. She doesn't get around too well on her own in big places. She gets the shakes and has a tendency to get herself in places she can't easily get out of.
She was having a real hard time of it while I was in Oregon so Alan moved her into a small pet carrier and set her up in my office with a safe place to rest. She enjoyed warmth from a lamp and safety in her smaller "home".
She enjoys being held, is curious about things on my desk, and seems quite content in her new environment. Since she doesn't have to go far for food, water, and safety, she is doing much better about keeping calm and relaxed.
I think she is pretty cute.... and best of all, she is actually the baby of the late Tiny Tim and Cricket, who was a long time house chick until she was big enough to join her flock outside.
Now we probably need to settle on a name...
I thought I would pop on out to the garden this evening and see what the chickens were up to. Some of them were hunting for bugs in the grass. Good chickens! (Rosie in the front, Goldilocks, Poof, and Rosie in the distance). Yes, I have several Rosie's. You try telling several Golden Comet chickens apart on a regular basis! *grin*
Some of them were enjoying the sunshine. By the way, this is Dolly... my, how he has changed!
Lola is a Bearded Buff Laced Polish. Isn't she a beauty! Check out her blue legs! I love raising Polish hens. They have the sweetest personalities, although sometimes they can be a bit punchy (probably because they can't see all that well with their big headdresses!)
One of our most often asked about farm critters is Tiny Tim. This little frizzled fella is famous for his need to wear a coat on the cold days of winter. I thought you might enjoy an update, since it's been nearly a year since his made an appearance on the blog. My, how time flies!
While his wacky feathers aren't "perfect", he did manage to make it through this winter coat-free. But then again, we really only had a couple of nights in the low 30s. Instead of putting his coat on him, we just nestled him between a couple of large, heavily feathered hens on the coldest nights. He stayed toasty, TOASTY warm!
I had a request to post some "chick" photos. We don't have any chicks right now, so how about some of the Turken girls, instead!? Photos taken yesterday evening...
Olive Oyle, lays the prettiest olive green eggs that are covered with brown speckles.
Fancy, so big and fluffy, I just love holding her!
Cashew, a young pullet (less than 1 year), daughter of Olive Oyle and Admiral.
And not a "girl" or Turken, but I can't resist sharing this photo of Admiral. Such a handsome fella, and just as sweet as can be. I love his polka dot beard and chest.
Have a great weekend!
Took the camera out yesterday evening just before sunset to see what I could see. Not much was happening and it was getting dark quickly so I didn't have a lot of time to take photos. I was able to get a photo of Albert, though! He's the young calf that was born just before Christmas. He is Princess' calf, and we're excited that not only is he dun (brown), but he's also polled (hornless)! Way to go, Princess!
As usual, Baaaaad Boxcar Betty wanted to know "When'z dinner?"
Callio-Pea wanted to know "Got any goat cookies in your pocket? I'm the good goat, you know!"
Walnut, quite possibly the sweetest hen to ever live, would also have liked some snacks.
Sorry girls, I'm fresh out!
First of all, thank you for all your support to those who purchased the On the Farm 2011 calendar last year. We had a great response to last year's calendar, and have decided to offer On the farm 2012.
A small portion of all purchases comes back to the farm, and all proceeds recieved go towards the care and feeding of the animals here on the farm. The calendars make fantastic gifts, and are ideal for personal use. The calendar is available in 3 sizes. All of the photos in the calendar were taken by me; I hope you choose to spend 2012 enjoying photos from our farm.
Order your own copy of On the farm 2012 today! Some of your favorite farm critters are featured in the pages of our calendar! Even Baaaaad Boxcar Betty makes an appearance!
HOT SALE! Today through November 20th, cards are 50% off, and calendars are 20% off when you use coupon code CARDSCAL2011 at order checkout. In addition to the 2012 calendar, you will also find all kind of lovely cards in my Zazzle shop as well!
Zazzle Coupon Details:
Enter code: CARDSCAL2011 at checkout in the "Zazzle Coupons/Gift Certificates" box 50% of the greeting card, invitation, photo card and postcard net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying products are purchased. 20% of the calendar net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying calendars are purchased. The coupon code CARDSCAL2011 must be applied at checkout to apply these discount offers. Offer is valid until November 20, 2011 at 11:59pm PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on Zazzle.com only.
How about a little more Farmgirl Betty inspiration!
When I showed Alan this card, he said "why is her hair blue?" That made me giggle!
So, a 2li23ttle off top2.i4c ... but hav3e2 2you 0ev0e00r. tr5ied 5t+o+ +ty5pe3 .with a chic6k+en standi2n2g22 next to..3666you6r6 keybo3a.rd? No? Well, l2e2t me 3t333ell y56ou, it gets0 i0nteresting.
Here is how that sentence should have read: So, a little off topic ... but have you ever tried to type with a chicken standing next to your keyboard? No? Well, let me tell you, it gets interesting.
She types nearly as fast as me, but she favors the number keypad.
Whatever that means... It must be good!
Well, it's bedtime for this farmgirl. Sweet dreams!
Remember our little chicklet, whom I rescued from her overly aggressive mother? She's living in the house until she's big and strong enough to go out to the hen house. Well, here she is in all her cuteness! She hangs out with me all day in my office while I work. We've decided to call her Cricket, because she cheeps, sings, and coos to herself all day long -- she really is quite the chatterbox. I rigged up a perch for her out of a small tree branch, and she just thinks it's the coolest thing! To give you a size comparison, the branch she's sitting on is about the same diameter as my thumb. She's a bitty little thing, and is such a pleasant little house guest.
Don't you wish you had a house chicken, too? *grin*
I hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day celebrations today! We had Alan's parents and nephew over for lunch, and then spent the rest of the day tinkering around the farm. It was an enjoyable day, though a bit too warm and windy! June is almost upon us, but summertime weather has been with us already for some time. Alan and I were discussing today just how much it feels (and LOOKS) like August outside. Dreadful to say the least. Is it too much to ask for a rainy summer!? I'm asking, I'm ASKING!
She spent a lot of time today just milling around the barnyard, not eating much of her hay. She also spent some time looking longingly at the rest of the herd in the pasture, who were enjoying themselves in the sunshine. We pulled Lucy out of the pasture a couple days early because she kept having horn wars with Pixie Dust. Their scuffling about would get the rest of the herd all excited, and they would start chasing after Lucy. She's never been very high up on the herd chain of command, and we didn't need them running her when she's so close to delivery! So into the barnyard she went. So come on, Lucy! Let's meet that baby of yours, already!
Baaaaad Boxcar Betty was bored by the daily activities, and chose to spend her day in the shade, munching on grass, and occasionally petting herself with the fence. "Ooooooooh, that feels so goooooood!"
I checked in on Olive Oyle and her chicks, and look what I found! One of her little one's enjoying a bit of mamma time! So cute!! I was only able to get this one photo taken before the chick hopped off of her back. Olive Oyle is a Turken (naked neck), and she is supposed to have the naked neck. Three of her chicks are naked neck's too, even tho their papa (Admiral) isn't a Turken. I think they are just about the cutest chicks, with their little fuzzy heads, and little fuzzy "bow tie" (what I call the clump of feathers on the front of their lower neck).
And this is the third Turken chick, with coloring similar to Olive Oyle's. Sooooo cute!! Olive Oyle has three other chicks as well (an Easter Egger, and two mille fleurs) but they weren't interested in posing for the camera. Maybe another time.
Alan had to run some errands in town yesterday afternoon. When he came home I was out in the chicken yard saying hello hello HELLO to the ladies. He said I had a package... that I should go to the house and check it out. Oh REALLY!? I like packages!
Meet Lola! She's one of my recently released Whipper Snapper stamps.
I noticed the other day that people in town have daffodils blooming in their yards. And I noticed that we don't have ANY early spring blooming flowers here on the farm. I must remedy this, don't you agree? I have a stack of plant and seed catalogs on the end table in the living room, and they are getting corners folded down, notes penciled in, and ideas are brewing for the summer garden.
Today is Alan's mother's birthday -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUE! We're having her and John (Alan's Dad), and Alan's nephew over for dinner Sunday night. Should be a nice evening. I even made cupcakes! YUM!
Hope you're enjoying the weekend... I sure am!
Alan had to make a trip to town yesterday to pick up some feed, and some other odds and ends. When he got home, he walked into the house and surprised me with six BABY CHICKENS! Six little babies for me to call my very own! *grin* It's been a long while since we've had babies on the farm, and their little peep peep peeps are music to my ears! He brought home four Golden Comet chicks, two of which are shown in the above photo series. We love Golden Comets for their incredible egg laying abilities, and for their sweet dispositions. And we love that Golden Comets are easily gender identifiable as chicks. The light golden chicks w/ subtle stripes on their backs are girls. Easy pickin's!
He brought home THIS little cutie, who is as tiny as can be, and I am guessing is a white Dutch bantam. (Though I reserve the right to change that opinion later! Haa!) This is the chick that prompted the purchase. Alan said that this TINY little thing was in the same area as the store's order of meat birds! There is NO WAY this little pip is a meat bird. Poor little thing was being trompled by the bigger babies; Alan to the rescue! This is also the chick that prompted the Stickles bottle photos. I was trying to show just how tiny this chick is.
And he brought home THIS darling little one, who has the prettiest coloring! This chick isn't as large as the Golden Comets, but isn't nearly as little as the little white chick. I haven't had time to research a breed... expect an update later!
Welcome HOME, babies! Cheep, cheep, CHEEP!
And THANK YOU, Alan... I have a feeling these little delights were just what I needed! *Smooches*
Not only did we have blue sky and 80 degree temps here on the farm today, we also had several attentive vultures circling the farm this afternoon. The chickens and ducks are always aware of them, and hustle under cover when they're near.
The sun was shining so I went out to see what the critters were up to. Very few of them cooperated for photos. The cows were at the faaaaaaar end of the pasture with the donkeys. The cats and dogs were sleeping in the shade. The goats? Well they would have been in my pockets had I gone into the barnyard! I guess Callio-Pea didn't like that I didn't bring her any snacks!
When I sit on the concrete block, I get quite a bit of attention. They've got to tug at my shirt buttons, tug on my sleeves, and of course be close enough so that if I do have any handouts, they're first in line! If I sit there long enough, things go back to normal. This is Uncle Sam, waiting to see if I have any snacks for him. Sorry dude, no snacks.
An afternoon nap sure sounds like a fine idea... Don't you agree?
While the sun was low on the horizon this evening, I took my camera out to the hen house to see what I could see. What do you know, I saw CHICKENS (and ducks)! Shorty tried to show me where a good place to nest would be, "right here, in the tall grass!"
Inside the hen house, some of the ladies enjoyed perching in the rays of sunshine that were coming through the windows. Ruby had the best spot! (And is it just me, or does she look a little bit like Conan o'Brien?)
Like most areas around the country, the weather here is supposed to get cold this week. Yesterday and today it was in the mid 70's ... Take a look at Tuesday and Wednesday in the above chart ... a low of 14* on Wednesday!? Ice and Snow!? JEEEEPERS!! Best plan on keepin' cozy!
The sun was out on Monday late afternoon and the light was really pretty with the snow, so I took my camera out to see what I could see. Shorty, one of the little roosters that lives here on the farm, always comes out to greet me when I get near the hen house. We had a little chat, mostly about the weather, and then we had a photo session. I think he liked it!
The "every day action" pose, similar to photos you'd find in clothing catalogs, like Eddie Bauer or LL Bean. You know, like the fellas who pose in flannel shirts and fleece lined denim... *grin* I think Shorty believes we're at a ski resort. Or Tahoe. Hot tottie, anyone?
There's always something going on here at the farm...
Shorty isn't the only one to have an official photo session on the farm. In fact, lots of animals have! In case you missed it, Callio-Pea and Baaaaad Boxcar Betty review farm photo session rules and regulations, here.
Today thru Friday, December 17th, calendars at Zazzle are 40% off when you use coupon code 40CLNDRS2011. Order your own copy of On the Farm, a 2011 calendar, today! Some of your favorite farm critters are featured in the pages of the 2011 custom calendar!
I will receive approximately $4.00 per calendar purchased; money that will be put towards keeping the critters on the farm happy, and healthy!
40% of the calendar net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying calendar items are purchased and the coupon code 40CLNDRS2011 is applied at checkout. Offer is valid from November 12, 2010 through December 17, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on Zazzle.com only.
It's time to sell some of the Frizzle boys! This is ZaneGrey, a standard sized frizzled roo. His rare lemon-blue coloring makes him prize-worthy, and he would be a wonderful addition to any flock. He stands proud, keeps a watchful eye out for predators, and adores the ladies.
This is Big Red, a medium sized frizzled roo with nicely feathered legs, great frizzling, and a wonderful mix of red and blue feathers. He's strong and sturdy, attentive to the ladies, and also good at predator alerts.
This is Mr. Cool, with long golden locks that look to be bleached out by a warm California summer sun from a life lived in the sandy surf. Mr. Cool is a medium sized fella, with a unique combination of red, blue and gold coloring, and feathered legs. His long feathers make him extra showy, and extra soft. He would be a wonderful addition to any flock of hens.
Add a little fun to your spring hatch with frizzles! These boys are happy and healthy, and would love their own flocks. Add a frizzled roo to your flock of non-frizzled hens, and put some frizzle in your spring hatch! Email me for pricing.
Until today, July has been cloudy with occasional storms, and it was delightful. Today, we're reminded that summer in Texas is hot. Temperatures have risen to the mid 90s again, it's humid, and well... downright HOT. There's not a cloud to be seen. The early July weather spoiled everyone, and everything, on the farm.
Today I've been able to work outside for an hour at a time before I have to come in and cool off in the A/C, and enjoy a glass of ice water. That's probably for the best, though. It is the perfect time to write a blog post! I started looking through the photos I've taken in the past week, and in them I see cool days, clouds, lush vegetation, and happy critters. The photos are making me really miss those cooler, drizzly days! Let me share a few with you, so you can see what I mean... all of these photos were taken on July 8, 2010 (not today).
Admiral jumps up onto the gate in the evening. His muddy toes remind me that the pasture and barnyard were damp enough from the rain for the thick, sticky, muddy soil to cling to anything and everything.
The cucumber plant that I thought I would lose is doing much better. I added a few more inches of good garden soil to it's mound, and it really perked up. Perhaps it just didn't have room to stretch it's roots, and needed a little more wiggle room. And the cucumbers are now growing like weeds!
This is the first year I've ever tried to grow any melons, and WHOA NELLIE, we've got some little melons on the vine! Everything in the garden really enjoyed the break from the blistering sun and heat.
Admiral loves to crow, and let everyone within ear-shot know he's handsome, a good singer, and loves the ladies. He is such a good boy -- I wish all full-sized roosters were as good as he is. (Buddy Boy, not so much...)
The teenager-sized squash plants (I have plants at four different ages/stages in the garden, for a long harvest time) started to put on fruit. Little yellow zucchini and yellow crookneck squash will be on the menu soon!
The pumpkin plants are doing great! This photo was taken three days ago, and already the plants are noticeably larger. A few of the leaves got kind of mangled in one of the storms. We had some really large raindrops! I also have a mound of ornamental pumpkins (the little tiny ones). It has started to put out really long runners that I'm going to have to direct a little bit, so they don't take over the tomato and squash rows.
The squash pit and corn really loved the cooler temps and rain, and that cucumber plant in the middle of the corn has decided to make a run for the border... it's grabbing onto the grass along the side of the raised bed.
It is my opinion that frizzled chicks are the CUTEST chicks in the coop! Sure, all chicks are cute, but frizzles just have a little something EXTRA to their level of cuteness. A frizzled chicken's feathers curl forward instead of laying flat against the chicken's body. I snapped these photos this afternoon, and am so glad I did!
This little guy (guessing it's a roo, but maybe not!) has more muted colors, but still the blue and gold show through. I think he'll be very pretty as an adult with slightly darker neck coloring, and more penciling pattern on his feathers.
Both of these boys are from the 13 chicks that Edwina hatched out in May. There's a third frizzle chick too, but he wasn't too hip on having a photo session today. Maybe he'll cooperate next time. He's very similar in appearance to the first chick, above.
By the way, I'm interested in selling these little fellas, so if you're in the area and want to add some ultra cuteness to your coop, drop me a note and I can let you know the prices. I'd wager that we will always have frizzles on the farm. I just think they are the CUTEST things!
Chainsaw was the first chick I hatched in the incubator last spring. She's part Silkie, and part bantam Cochin, and is one of *the* favorite critters here on the farm. (It's OK that I choose favorites ... really, it is!) She is particularly fond of Dancing with the Stars, and last season rooted for cowboy Ty Murray.
Most every evening while I'm doing the evening chores around the hen house, Chainsaw keeps busy by scratching around in the wood chips in front of the coop. She is a VERY busy chicken and does an excellent job of rearranging the chips.
But last night was different. She wanted grass seeds! Alan and I haven't been mowing all of the grass around the chicken coop to allow the grass to seed itself. This makes for very happy chickens, too! (See Wiley in the background, happily scratching around in the wood chips...)
As I was downloading these photos, all I could think of was how nicely camouflaged the babies are in their environment.
We had a bit of rain last night, which always puts me in a happy mood. I love rain! Weather like we had to day reminds me so much of the pacific northwest. It just feels "right". I pulled out my camera and Alan and I walked around the farm to see what we could see. Here are a few photos for you.
Unfortunately, the poison ivy is growing like crazy, too... this particular plant (and it wasn't the only one like this) has wound it's way up to the top of a fence post, and will soon be more like a tree than a bush! YUCK!
It's hard to believe that the two bigger buff colored ducks are only 4 weeks old! We brought them home on March 20th. The white crested duck and the khaki duck are now 3 weeks old. Growing like weeds! Remember when I brought them home, how LITTLE they were! They are the happiest little creatures!
Hope you enjoyed your visit to the farm today!
The light this evening was just starting to get "pretty", so I grabbed my camera just before dinner and went out to take some photos. I got 27 photos taken before my camera's battery died, and before the light got really nice! *groan*
Here are a few shots I took before the battery died...
Bad Boxcar Betty was up to her usual antics.
They are very busy chickens. John's Chicken is Alan's dad's chicken. Alan's parents live in town. This chicken showed up in their back yard one day last summer, and took up residence on their back porch. After about a week of her living on their porch, they figured she'd be better off out at the farm with other chicken friends, so she came to live with us. I was going to call her something like Hobo or Hippy Chick, but the name John's Chicken kind of just stuck.
Admiral was hatched here on the farm, and is a very nice rooster. He's always finding snacks for the ladies, and keeps an eye out for danger. He even loves to be held! It's not uncommon for me to carry him around the barnyard while I do chores. He keeps good conversation.
And he loves to crow...
...time to charge the camera battery!
Alan and I zipped up to the city today to pick up a few electronic items. I've been having issues with internet connectivity in my office (oh, the horrors!), and Alan thought a new switch would solve the troubles. Turns out he was right!
While we were in the city, we swung by Home Depot where I picked up some Dahlia bulbs. I'll have to wait for the winter storm warnings to pass before putting them in the ground. When I was out locking up the chickens earlier tonight, it was snowing. Crazy weather.
Also while we were in town, we swung by the farm supply store. Since it was the farm supply store in a larger city than we usually shop at, Alan didn't think they would have babies...and that it might be SAFE to take me to. WRONG!
Not only did they have baby chickens (boring white "meat" chickens), but they also had BABY DUCKS! Ohhhh, they were cute. At first it was easy to say "awww, they're so cute" and keep on walking. And then we noticed that not all of them were white Pekin ducks!
Ducks and chickens get along well, and since I haven't had ducks since I was a wee little girl, we brought two home. I am 99% certain that they are Buff Orpington ducklings, though I am not sure if they are male or female. Now I need to come up with names for these little cuties. When I was a kid, I had two ducks named Soup and Quackers...
Ok, ok..... I need to fess up... Earlier this week Alan and I had to make a run to town (south of us) so I could get a bag of chicken feed, and a few odds and ends at the grocery store. They had baby chicks at the farm supply store... mostly just Production Reds and Golden Comets.
By the way, not only is today the first day of spring, but March 20 is also my Mom and Dad's wedding anniversary. Happy 39th Anniversary, Mom and Dad! May you have many, many more happy years together!
Tonight I created a new gallery on my photo site, and it's completely dedicated to chickens! There are loads of photos in the gallery -- some you've seen, some new! Check it out -- it's the gallery in the top left corner called Just Chickens!
While you're there, you might find other photo galleries you haven't seen before, too! Have some fun browsing, and getting a taste of life on the farm.
I welcome comments on all of my galleries and photos. There is a comment box on each gallery's main page (scroll to the bottom), as well as each individual photo page. The galleries are set up so that you can click on each photo for a larger display. Groovy!
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.
Chicken's have an established pecking order within a flock. When they meet a new chicken, they immediately work to establish who's the more dominant hen in the flock. It results in stare-downs, neck feather displays, growling, pecking, and kicking. Usually there is lots of squawking involved, too...
We wondered what a chicken would do if she was introduced to her own reflection... enter, Cottonelle and the bathroom mirror.
Here's a little history behind Cottonelle, and how she came to be a temporary house-chicken...
We used to have a little itty bitty rooster named Cotton. He had REALLY short legs - so short, in fact, his belly feathers nearly drug on the ground when he walked. We named him after the character named Cotton on King of the Hill (an animated TV show), who has no shins (war injury). When Cottonelle hatched, we noticed that she had REALLY short legs too, so we named her Cottonelle.
Cottonelle had 5 little flock-mates. One of them didn't make it more than a couple of days. As the chicks got a little older and braver, they would escape from the goat yard where their mother was and would wander far, and out of sight from their mother. One day, one of the chicks disappeared, and only four chicks were left.
Cottonelle was the smallest of all the chicks and could escape from the goat yard by herself long after the others got too big (fat) to squeeze out. One day, she wandered all the way up to the house, walked right up to Alan, and cheeped. This was unusual, since the chickens at the barn are fairly "flighty" around us. Alan reached down and picked her up ... clearly, she needed something. Afraid she too would "disappear" since she wandered so far, alone, I decided that she (being as cute as she is) she needed to be added to the flock of chickens in the big chicken yard (where the laying hens, Chainsaw, Dee, Wiley, etc live) instead of being one of the "wild" barn chickens.
I brought in Twinkle Toe's old cage and set Cottonelle up with her new temporary digs, a dish of food and water. She was far too small to introduce to the hens in the hen house just yet, as she wasn't big enough to protect herself from them, and she needed a round of vaccinations, too. So, she's been in the house for about a month. She is quite a nice little house chicken... rarely makes a sound louder than a coo. Since she was raised in the goat yard with Bad Boxcar Betty and Calio-Pea, we're pretty sure she thinks my dogs, Daisy and Farley, are her new goats. Now and then I let her out of the cage so she can flit around the floor. She usually ends up sitting on either Daisy or Farly, keeping her toes warm and grooming their fur.
She also likes to watch Project Runway. *grin*
When she gets old enough to lay eggs, it's very likely that she will lay green shelled eggs... how fun! And she will be living with the rest of the hens, by then...
I know it's not nice to pick favorites.... but this little guy (and I do mean little!) ranks right up there with the OTHER favorite chickens on the farm! ...see, I get away with it by having more than one favorite...
Wiley... he's just the CUTEST! He loves to fly up and land on my shoulder. Though, sometimes he misjudges his landing and ends up landing on my head, but it's forgivable. He also gets very excited when I make happy chicken noises -- he comes running to find me and crows for me! What a charmer... It's so difficult to get across in photos the true size of Wiley. He might stand 8 inches tall. Maybe. If he's standing tall. He's nearly knee high to a grasshopper. ...a Texas-sized grasshopper, that is!
While I'm picking favorites, here's another! This is Tipsy Frizzlewinkle, as named in the pullet naming contest I held a while back. Tipsy is part frizzle and part Silkie. She's really come into her feathers now, and is sooooo frizzled and soft!
The coloring on her feathers is so unique! Each feather has a light colored center that creates a nice center stripe. Then, there's a nice mixture of chocolate brown and gold, which gives her such a great appearance.
Another cutie in the coop is Curly Que, who is also part frizzle (you can tell by her curled feathers), and part Golden Laced Polish. Her feathers are so very soft too, just like Tipsy's feathers!
I have more frizzle cross babies growing up, too! This is another frizzle/Silkie cross. She wasn't too pleased that I put her up on the "BIG CHICKEN" perch for her photo op. She didn't stay long. CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP!
And there's THIS crazy little chick! This little gal's (I'm hoping it's a girl, anyway) feathers are black with silver coloring, and I can't WAIT to see how pretty she gets as she continues to grow! If you think you're having a bad hair day, just remember... it could probably be worse! I tried to get more photos of the babies, but they don't exactly hold still for much more than a fraction of a second. I'll try to do better!
Here are some of the Golden Comet girls. They're not quite old enough to lay eggs yet, but they've been eyeballin' the nest boxes in the morning, so I know it's just a matter of time before I'll be gathering 40 some-odd eggs in the morning (not just from the Golden Comets). The cafe in town should be thrilled!
The Golden Comet ladies are a nice bunch of pullets. I'm really pleased with them, actually. I've never raised Golden Comets before. We bought them because we could guarantee that we were buying hens (and not roosters) just by their coloring when they were chicks. They're a cross between a Rhode Island Red hen and a Rhode Island White rooster. The chicks that hatch will carry the coloring of their gender -- this is called "sex-linked". As chicks, the little pullets are golden yellow with darker gold striping down their backs, and the little cockerels are pale yellow. This makes it easy for hatcheries to gender identify the chicks. And makes it easy to buy only hens! They should lay a nice sized light brown egg... come on, girls!!
Last month we lost the best rooster on the farm, Lefty. Before he died, he fathered about a dozen chicks that were hatched out by Crazy Dark Brown Hen. This little guy is one of them! His coloring is so striking, and like his father, he is quite friendly. I'm hoping he doesn't grow out of that... He's still quite young and isn't so sure about leaving the safe walls of the coop just yet. But he's perfectly content hanging out in one of the unfinished windows watching the events in the chicken yard!
And speaking of Lefty... here is his other young heir to the farm. Isn't he handsome in his black and white feathers and ultra cute cheek feathers (which he got from his mother). You can see more of this little guy here, and here.
Those are all the photos I have to share today... more coming soon!
PS: If you want to read more posts about chickens or the coop, you'll find Poultry and Chicken Coop in the Categories list on the right. In fact, you'll find all kinds of things to read about if you visit the Categories list on the right! Dexter Cattle, Goats, Life on the Farm (includes all of the farm related posts), and even a link to my encounters with Texas-sized spiders. Which I will have you know, I have spared you from the recent encounters... you can thank me by sending spider killing (but chicken safe) spray. Or booze.
Lefty hatched in late August 2006. He was a very cool, HUGE, rooster...
He always looked after his ladies. He was one of the first chicks to hatch when I moved to the farm.
Sadly, Lefty died today, peacefully. And I'm not sure why. We'll miss him... his ladies already miss him, too.
Oddly enough, Crazy Dark Brown Hen is raising some of his babies right now, and I have another handful of his babies in the coop, from the eggs we hatched after Crazy Dark Brown Hen abandoned her nest. Maybe one of his sons will grow up to be a good boy, like Lefty. Maybe.
As promised, here are some more chicken portraits taken a couple of evenings ago while the chicks were out having fun in their new yard for the first time. They were all so TIRED by evening! All that flitting around chasing bugs and swinging off the tall grass really wore them out!
Wiley is a little TINY rooster. He might stand as tall as the length of my hand. Maybe. I think he's a Dutch bantam, but I'm not sure. First I thought he was an Old English Game Bantam (OEGB), but I think he has the wrong color legs for an OEGB. I haven't taken much time to research him. I bought him out of a "mixed bantam" group, so that's why I'm not certain what he is. He'll be a looker though, that's for sure! His gold feathers are coming in really nicely!
...can you handle more chicken photos? ...I hope so... *grin*
This is Chatty. She's considered to be an "Easter Egger" pullet. She is a cross between an Old English Game Bantam (her mama) and an Ameraucana (her papa). She was one of the chicks that hatched down in the barn in December.
Chatty just started laying cute little green-shelled eggs late last week. She's an adorable little gal, who LOVES to talk. She also loves to be held. And she was the best helper while we were working on the new chicken yard. She had to make sure every screw and every wire was in just the right spot. And she told us what she thought every step of the way.
Chatty used to live at the barn with her sisters and some of the older barn hens, but she got in the way of one of the older *bossier* hens and got a terrible 2" open wound on her neck. Thankfully I interact with the chickens daily and was able to get her isolated and treated right away. She has healed up nicely, but still has a large scar on the back of her neck that interrupts the growth pattern of her feathers.
Cheeks also used to live at the barn, but like Chatty, she got in the way of one of the older *bossier* hens and ended up with a open wound on her head! She immediately joined Chatty in our ICU ward where they both got treated (and spoiled). She has healed up nicely, but has a scar that interrupts the feathers on her head.
See how she's holding her wings out from her body? That's one way a chicken keeps cool on hot days. Nothing better than a nice cool breeze under your wings when it's 90+ degrees out!
Because these two spent so much time away from the barn, and because they seemed to be the two that got picked on by the older hens, I've decided that they'll be integrated in with the babies at the new coop. I refer to them as the head injury duo.
We finally got phase 1 of the new chicken yard completed so yesterday the chicks had their first full day in their new yard, and didn't have to be supervised! It was a great time for photos -- I'll share some of the chick photos tomorrow!
Here's a photo of the coop as it is today. It doesn't look like we've made much progress, but we have! There are still lots of things left to do. Like frame up the small windows we added in the storage area of the building, cut in and finish the large window on the back wall of the coop, finish the chicken door (right now it's just a rough cut hole), continue working on the full chicken yard, paint the trim, and a whole slew of other odds and ends. See the red cord coming out of the window? That's operating the HUGE fan we have in the coop to keep the birds cool. I can't believe how HOT and HUMID it has been here. I don't think I could wish any harder for cool temps and rain!
The 10'x16' roof over their back yard took longer than planned, but I'm glad we did it. It provides great shade and will keep the ground behind the coop from getting too muddy and gross when we actually DO get rain. This kind of covered area really expands the living area of the birds, giving them just that much more space out of the weather. We'll be adding a 30'x30' run off the far side of the coop. The large 30'x30' yard will have two access doors. One from the existing 10'x16' back yard, and one from the front side of the coop. The original plans were to have a 30'x30' yard on both sides of the coop, along with the 10'x16' run at the back, so we'll see how that comes along.
The small wooden structure you can see in the yard is a brooder, which is typically used to house small chicks in the coop when they still need a heat lamp. The front of the brooder folds down, allowing the birds to go in and out as they wish. That is where the head injury duo have been living, enjoying the yard during the day yet having the security of a locked brooder at night. Now that the small chicks are able to access the yard, the head injury duo get to see the chicks but not physically interact with them just yet. They all need time to get used to each other before they're allowed to mingle together. After a week or so, they should all be used to each other and the head injury duo will be able to live with the others, having free access to the coop and yard. This is a nice, safe way to introduce birds to each other. And safe is always best...
Stay tuned for more!
This little chick was the first one of our farm hatches this spring. It is part red frizzle cochin bantam (but it's feathers didn't frizzle) and part buff silkie, and it's feathers are so soft and smooth!
For the longest time we thought this might be a little rooster... then we thought maybe it's a hen... now, I'm not so sure about either one! It needs to get a little older, out of it's "adolescent" stage for me to be sure. So, for now, IT is just Chainsaw.
Chainsaw is one of my favorite chicks. It loves to cuddle. That might have something to do with me, though. When it was still in the house, before they moved out to the coop, Chainsaw was the one I would hold while Alan and I watched TV in the evening. Dancing with the Stars is a favorite around here... Chainsaw is rooting for Ty Murray. *grin*
...Chainsaw might just have to come in and watch the Dancing with the Stars finale with us!...
I thought I'd introduce you to a couple more pullets... Get a look at these cuties!
This is Curly Que, the little frizzled Golden Laced Polish pullet who hatched here on the farm April 1st. Her coloring is so much FUN! Polish chickens all have fancy feather plumes on their heads. Hers won't be as big and showy as a pure Polish hen's, but it'll still be sassy and fun! The next time I take photos of her, I need to make sure it's not in front of the coop! The wood siding of the coop is the same color as her feathers, and I think you miss out on some of their flair! I also need to make sure I have some assistance during her photo sessions. She refused to sit still long enough for me to get too many photos. She is a very busy, busy bird.
This little beauty is a Birchen Old English Bantam. She's TINY! That is a 2x2 perch she's sitting on, to give you an idea to scale. Isn't the lacing on her breast feathers pretty! What I love about these little Bantams is that they're such sweet little birds. The males can be little pistols, but the pullets are just as sweet as can be! She likes to sit on my shoulder when I'm in the coop. ...which is really great until she POOPS! *grin* I haven't decided on a name for her yet. It's gotta be something dainty... something beautiful...
And speaking of something dainty, this little thing hatched on Saturday! She's a Golden Cuckoo Marans and will grow up to have feathers that are a beautiful mix of gold, black and white. She will lay eggs that are a warm, dark brown.
And here she is about 12 hours after hatching... what a cutie, eh? A bit sleepy, but you would be too! She's standing with her stuffed chicken friend -- our tried and true surrogate momma/friend while we wait for other chicks to hatch. Thankfully, it wasn't long before she had a REAL chicken friend to share the brooder with. A little Salmon Faverolles hatched on Sunday -- pics of "her" later!
Welcome to the farm, girly girls!
My GOODNESS! There has been so MUCH participation in the naming of our little pullet! 267 (and counting) comments, many with SEVERAL name suggestions! And that doesn't include the numerous emails I received as well! You're all so fun for playing along! And you came up with fantastic names!!
Thank you, thank you for all the FUN suggestions! I can't tell you how many belly laughs we have had reading every SINGLE one of them, and taking them all into consideration. We even got plenty of good names for some of the other girls in the coop too! And for that, I'm EXTRA grateful!
I've decided on a name for our little gal. The name was suggested by Mary Ann Kelemen... I'm delighted to introduce Tipsy Frizzlewinkle!
There MANY other names that were so close... here are a few that *almost* got chosen...
Pwaula Pinecone (as said with a Boston accent) was a close second, suggested by Renee's kids. Renee made sure to mention the Boston accent for pronunciation, and went on to say that she and her kids live in Kansas... Hahaa! What a crack up!!
Pinecone, for obvious reasons... Prickles, Phillis, June Bug, and one that topped the charts from my Dad was Edith Ann, like, one ringy dingy, two ringy dingy, Lilly Tomlin's strange operator from Laugh In. So MANY fun suggestions...it was a difficult decision!
I really can't tell you how much FUN this was for us! Thank you for playing along! And Tipsy thanks you too! Cheep cheep!
Mary Ann, drop me a note -- I've got a little something to send you for your winning suggestion!
Come on! You know you want to play!
Let's play Name This Chicken!
Let's meet our little pullet!
So, let's hear what you've got! Name This Chicken!
PS: You never know... there might just be a prize awarded for the winning name!
PSS: A "pullet" is a young female chicken who is less than one year old.
I ran into the farm supply store this evening just MINUTES before closing to pick up two bags of pine chips and a little canning jar water dish.
They had a big trough full of red chicks.
They had a big trough full of golden comet chicks.
They had a big trough full of assorted bantams.
I'm not sure how it happened, but the Silkies followed me home.
Really! They just followed me home!
And I'm now banned from the farm supply store until WELL after "chick days" are over. They've never had so many "chick days"! I thought it was safe! Lesson learned... beware of parading chicks.
And Silkies!? They're the hardest to resist!
Oddly enough, I received an email from my Dad tonight. Yesterday, a new fishing boat followed him home! ACK! Could it be genetic!? ...I will say that at least they didn't ALL follow me home! See!! I ...I mean they... showed SOME restraint!
My Mom says she can't raise chicks this year -- I'll raise them for you, Mom!
I took a few photos last night of some of the new chicks we've got in the brooder. This is the little chocolate colored chick we had hatch about 10 days ago. I was going back and forth about who it's mama was, and clearly I was WRONG! Turns out, this chick has Silkie toes and frizzling feathers! So there's no way her mama could be Doily, Pearl, or Tina! You can kind of see her wing feathers sticking out as they do their cute frizzle curl. It will be fun to see her grow up! (Sorry it's not all in focus... it was dark and I needed to use a shallow depth of field to allow enough light to even take the photo at all!)
This is Edwina, a cross between our Mille Fluer Peanut and our Ameraucana Edward Scissorbeak. Peanut lays the smallest eggs on the farm, but hatching from one of Peanut's itty bitty eggs didn't stop Edwina from growing and growing and GROWING! She TOWERS over all the other babies in the brooder! And look at all her pretty feathers coming in! She is a very sweet, mild mannered chick. Except when a bug gets in the brooder... then she gets a little CRAZY running and jumping and peeping like mad. Bugs in the brooder are VERY exciting! Hopefully, Edwina will lay green eggs...
This is one of the little Golden Comet chicks we brought home from the farm supply store last weekend. Golden Comets are a sex-link bird, meaning that the pullets (girls) are a different color than the cockerels (boys). So it's easy to tell the males from the female birds. She'll grow up to be a pretty gold and white colored hen and lay nice, brown eggs. Can't wait!
Hope you're enjoying your weekend!
It's a baby! Yup, one last egg hatched tonight...
I had a bunch of eggs under a couple of sitting hens (they were in the same nest box), but their nest was getting all kinds of activity from the other hens wanting to lay their eggs in their nest box. All that activity caused the sitting girls to get up off of their nest quite often, and the eggs got shuffled around a lot as the two birds rolled the eggs back and forth so they could "take turns" sitting on them. So, I put the eggs in the incubator for the last week to see if they would even hatch. That's how we got the two chicks that hatched earlier this month, and tonight, the last egg from the bunch hatched. Most of the eggs didn't fully develop into chicks, and I'm attributing that to too much activity in the nest box the hens were sitting on them. Too much temperature change, too much rolling back and forth...something. But three hatched, and we gave three adorable little babies to enjoy!
I THINK this baby is a cross between a bearded Golden Laced Polish hen (Not Weezie) and a Red Frizzled rooster (Little Buddy or Tiny Tim, but my money's on Little Buddy). The egg the baby hatched from was a large white shelled egg, which is what the two Golden Laced Polish girls lay. The coloring of the chick is more similar to the Golden Laced Polish chicks than it is to the Buff Laced Polish. At this point, that's all I have to go on. Oh, AND, it's wing feathers show characteristics of being a little pullet (girl) -- cross your fingers she's a she! She's almost dry -- her baby fuzz is still a bit matted down in this photo from her being inside her egg. I'll take more pics when she's all fluffy and cute!
Remember this chick from last week? I was WRONG WRONG WRONG on the parents! Turns out, that baby is a FRIZZLE/Silkie mix, and it's feathers are curling and showing the frizzle gene! So, it's Mama is not Pearl, Doily, OR Tina! I'll try and get pics later this week. SO CUTE! More on this later.
It's been a busy past few days. Spring always brings more chores -- our muscles are sore!
We're planning on selling some of our calves so Alan and I were out in the pastures this evening trying to get photos of the ones we want to sell. They were not very cooperative. I'll have to try again.
I did manage to get a few photos I like -- not of any calves we want to sell, but at least the time wasn't a complete waste of time! Here are a few of my favorite shots from this evening...
This is Edward Scissorbeak. He's one of the free chicks we received last year from Ideal Poultry. We ordered a handful of chicks from them, and they included 7 "free warmer chicks" along with the ordered chicks to keep the box of babies warm during shipment. He's a beautiful red brown Ameraucana rooster -- with a bit of a beak problem. His top beak is correct (though a bit too curved due to the lower beak's issue), but his bottom beak jets off to the right of his face. He gets along just fine, though he does need a deep dish of food to eat from or he has trouble getting a bite to eat. But other than his wacky smile, he's your typical rooster, and rather humorous to have around.
He's rather food obsessed, so he follows me around like a puppy if I have anything in my hand (like a bucket, bowl, or camera) thinking I'm going to give him a snack. He's the proud father of two of the chicks that hatched out here last week -- Edwina who hatched here a couple weeks ago, and the white chick you all ooooh'd and ahhhhh'd over last week. He's quite a character...
This is Queenie, one of our Dexter cows, enjoying some fresh green grass and sunshine. We've had a couple days of rain recently, and thankfully the pastures are starting to green up. Alan said we might even get a bit more rain tomorrow evening! That's good news!! We NEED the rain!!
This is one of our barn cats, Chief. He was born last summer and is still very playful, and VERY "helpful" around the farm (he follows Alan everywhere...) He's hunting for grasshoppers in the pasture.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend!!
PS: If you or anyone you know is interested in buying any Dexter calves, let me know! *grin*
It's Papa is one of the red Silkie boys (which was a surprise to me - I thought it would have been Little Buddy!) The chick has the extra toes characteristic of Silkies, dark skin, and you can see the red coming through in the coloring. Although, it doesn't have a comb like a Silkie.
It's Mama ... well, that's when things get tricky because it could be one of three hens. Either Pearl, Doily, or Tina. I thought it was Tina's egg, because Tina lays white eggs and the egg this baby hatched from was very pale in color -- white even!? But perhaps the shell wasn't as WHITE as I thought! The chick hatched, and that's when the guessing started. Here's why.
Pearl: Pearl is a dark grey Ameracauna mix with a dark bearded chin and dark legs. The baby looks like it will be bearded, and it's certainly dark with dark legs. However, it does not have Pearl's comb. Pearl has a little bumpy Ameracauna comb, and the baby has a single comb. Pearl lays very lightly tinted brown eggs.
Doily: Her feathers are black, and her legs are dark grey. And she has a single comb. But, she's not bearded. Doily lays very lightly tinted brown eggs.
Tina: Tina is a Crevecoeur (a black hen with a fancy headress and black legs), and a V shaped comb. Tina lays white eggs. I *thought* it was her egg. Seems not?
So... Did the baby get the single comb from it's mother? If so, then it must be Doily's baby. Or does the comb revert to being a single comb on occasion regardless of the mother and father's comb? I don't know! So. To make it easier on myself, I'm going to say it's Doily's chick. Single comb Mama, single comb baby. Extra toe Papa, Extra to baby. Works for me!
Then, as if that wasn't fun enough, this little gal hatched yesterday evening! She hatched from one of Olive Oyle's green eggs! Her Papa is Edward Scissorbeak, without a doubt! What's so nice about this little gal is that she has a GREAT chance of laying green eggs! Her Mama lays olive green colored eggs, and one of the traits of Edward's breed is green colored eggs. Let's hope this little gal was lucky enough to get the gene! Oddly enough, Olive Oyle (the Mama) is a Turken (naked neck). Her chick didn't get that gene! She's all fluff! And just as cute as can BE!
I took some other chicken photos yesterday and thought I'd share a few just for fun.
Tiny Tim in his coat. He's on watch guard over the "ladies". Hopefully when the weather warms up, he'll grow in some new feathers! He's pretty much naked! And it looks like he's been busy dusting himself as well. What a mess!
Toe Picker, being cute on a perch. Toe Picker is a small buff Silkie hen, who is ALWAYS under-foot. She weighs about 24oz (small!). In the summer, when I'm wearing open-toe sandals, she loves to peck at my toe nail polish. *grin* She is very fuzzy, and very "silky". Ha! Silkies are like holding a stuffed animal -- they feel so different from regular chickens.
Gretta, one of the Cuckoo Marans girls. We have 8 of them, and they can be difficult to tell apart if you're not looking for something specific on each hen. They're responsible for the very dark brown eggs you've seen in the photos. Very nice hens to have around! But boy, she sure looks serious, doesn't she!
This little guy is a Black Japanese Bantam rooster. I usually call him Little Fella, but he gets called a few other choice names when he's being a troublemaker. If you happened to watch the first video I posted last year, this is the little guy that crowed on demand. He hasn't changed much. But his comb sure got big!