Meet the Ladies!


Truth be told, they aren’t technically NEW to us.  Last year we got them as chicks at a feed store and took them up to my Mom’s for her to have.  I wrote a post about it here last year.  When it came time for me to have chickens, she decided to give them back to us so we could have eggs immediately.  Here they are:

This is “My Black One.”  Ballerina Girl named her last year, she picked her out and just loved her from the beginning.  MBO is a Barred Plymouth Rock and lays a large pink-brown egg.

This is a White Leghorn hen.  Her name is Penny (her sister is Henny).  She is one of two that we got, and they are just fun to watch.  She’s really enjoying my compost pile and is from what I can see the most aggressive of the hens.  She’s the one who organized the chicken riot to show the kittens just WHO is in charge around here (more on that later… it was hilarious.)  Henny and Penny were the two hens that were always flying out of their run at my parents house and foraging outside.  Here, they are pretty much totally free-ranged, at least within the confines of my large backyard.

And here is Henny!  Henny is just as much fun to watch as her sister Penny.  She got a bum leg on the way over somehow, so she was sitting down a lot but that didn’t stop her from scratching around in the fresh new soil around here!  Both girls lay jumbo size white eggs like clockwork and apparently did not stop during the winter.  Henny seems to be feeling better, though she isn’t quite her normal sprightly self but she’s moving around a lot more now that they have been here a few days.

This is Marshmallow!  She is technically Little Rambo’s hen.  She was supposedly an Auracana but I would say more like an Easter Egger since we got her at a feed store.  When we got there, they had all white Auracanas except one buff colored one, and we decided to get two.  She lays a large, pretty green colored egg.  I always thought she had a very hawklike look.

And this is Caramel Corn!  She’s the buff Auracana/EE hen that I got, and technically she’s “my” chicken.  She also lays a beautiful green egg, and I suspect she’s the one who laid the egg in the mouldering old doghouse next to the coop.  Couldn’t get much of a good picture of her, so this is the best I got!  She’s also a very aggressive forager and I’ve noticed her and MBO will be outside scratching in the dirt during bad weather while the rest of the hens are inside.

So there you have it!  And here’s the story.

So last Sunday, it was the sad end of a nice visit to my parents place.  We loaded the chickens up in a large size dog crate with a flake of hay, and went on our merry way.  Half a day later, I was home!  It was late so I just put out a dish of food and a waterer, and then Mr. Hot Stuff and I took them out and just opened the crate in the dark henhouse.  They were asleep so I just wedged the door into the doorway (hadn’t actually mounted it yet!) and called it a night.

BY THE WAY, my wonderful devoted husband worked very hard in a complete DOWNPOUR to rig up a tarp to cover the henhouse before we got home since we hadn’t gotten a roof on it just yet.  It works perfectly!

So anyway… next morning I went to go let them out.  It was really funny!  You see, my parents live in a climate that is very seasonal – hot dry summers and cold cold winters.  Ours, on the other hand… well, it’s mostly pretty temperate and rainy.  Grass year round, etc.  I’ve already had a few crocus around for about a month or so.  So you can imagine the glee was almost tangible as they came out of their new home to inspect their new stomping grounds.  The ground is rich and friable, since the gardens have been pretty much neglected.  It didn’t take but a few minutes before they discovered a side garden bed and pretty much scratched the whole thing up, ravenously devouring insects and eating all the weeds and grass.  Green growing things!  They loved it.  And THEN they saw the compost pile!  lol

Needless to say, they made themselves right at home and were having a pretty grand old time.  It was right about then that I decided to pull the dog crate out of the henhouse… here’s what I saw:

I really had not expected them to lay any eggs for a while but they must have either laid during transition or in the morning before I let them out!  I’ve gotten eggs every day since then, so apparently there was no adjustment period.

So we had a great time watching them and the girls had a great time playing in the playhouse chicken hutch.

Later on in the afternoon I was standing on the back deck watching them and the kittens came outside.  It took a few minutes but it was absolutely hilarious when they saw each other.  One of the kittens saw the hens first and slunk underneath the wheelbarrow to watch.  After a few minutes, all out of nowhere Penny saw him.  She immediately began to puff out, strut around, and squawk really, really loudly.  She strutted back and forth, looking at him the whole time, and then pretty soon the other hens came around.  They all started making all this racket and it was absolutely hilarious!  They were basically forming one massive wall to stare down the kittens to tell them DON’T MESS WITH US!  At one point they were even advancing all in a row on the kittens, getting them to back down.

They kept doing it off and on for the next while.  I got a couple videos, but here is the funniest one.  It’s just Penny by herself, but you can see how aggressive she’s being with the kitties.

So there ya go!  It’s been pretty cool and we’ve enjoyed having them.  They have actually helped the flow of our day go BETTER and helped me be more productive, oddly enough, which reminds me of when I took away the TV.  More on that later, though… it’s late and I’m tired.  Goodnight!

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