I thought it would be fun to blog about the flock members that have made their home with us so far. Our first group of chickens were silkies, brown layers, and a random bantam. They came from a farm that wasn't taking very good care of them and they were very soiled and smelly when they arrived, and I don't think the silkies and bantam had ever been outside of cages. I am glad they are with us now!
Licorice is a black silkie hen who just began to lay last month. She is the dominant one of the three silkies and is also the most adventurous. She has lustrous black feathers and is quick to do the squatting hen dance when I approach (she thinks I'm the rooster). She lays a small cream-coloured egg.
Dazzle is a blue silkie hen, who arrived with Licorice and Whisp. She was also extremely timid and not well socialized when she arrived. Like Whisp, she needed an immediate bath when she arrived because she was very dirty. She is still not laying yet. She is a really lovely colour and I hope that she'll become more brave over time.
None of the silkie hens seem capable of perching to sleep, unlike the other hens. They all huddle on the floor of the coop, which is a bit odd. I put a low perch in place for them and have sat them on it numerous times but they still prefer the floor.
Sienna arrived with the silkies from the same not-very-good home. She is a bantam sized hen of mixed heritage and I have no idea what breeds are in her, but she is assertive and somewhat more aggressive than most of the hens. She is second in the pecking order from what I can determine, and will be quick to put another hen in its place, even if it is a larger hen! She is very fast and flighty - hard to take good pictures of her. She lays a white egg nearly every day. She's also very vocal about her eggs.
Marigold is a red hen of unknown breed, but she might have some Rhode Island Red in her heritage - she has a real mix of brown feather tones. She is what some people would just call a "brown layer" because she's a standard size brown egg layer. She is definitely the flock queen and number one in the pecking order. She lays a nice brown egg almost every day.
Not long after the above team of hens arrived, I acquired another pair of hens.
Jellybelly is a tiny black serama hen who is a little over 1.5 years old. She has excellent stance and looks like a little show hen. She was in the flock of a breeder that bred show hens but who folded operations. She was being picked on by the larger hens at her former home, so her owner was seeking a new home for her where she would be comfortable.
The most recent additions to the flock came just about 3 weeks ago.
Wellington is a cream legbar rooster. The cream legbar is a fairly rare breed and I am excited to have him. He is an exceedingly mellow rooster who is about 4.5 months old and he is just learning to crow. He seems to love sitting on my lap and stretches his head out along my arm and closes his eyes when I pet him. The serama hens chase him and he runs away, so he's not very assertive yet, but he will probably grow into his rooster-ness in time.Unfortunately he contracted a respiratory infection and has been on antibiotics for the past 4 days, and has been kept indoors on quarantine as a result. He is on the mend and should go back with the flock soon. Meantime, he also likes to sit on my shoulder while I work!
His tail feathers were pulled out by the other roosters at his former home so he needs to grow them back again!
Wellington also arrived with this darling little maran hen. Unfortunately, I have no idea what kind of maran she is. She was an extra hatching egg that was included in the batch that the seller purchased, but her exact type wasn't provided - it was just labeled as a maran egg. As a maran, she will most likely lay a darker brown egg. To be honest, she doesn't really look like any of the maran breeds that the originating egg farm (Greenfire Farm in Florida) raises, so she is a bit of a mystery. We'll see how she looks as she gets older. She also needs a name.