Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Brood

They're all here now -- six little hens, ready to provide us with eggs and entertainment.

We have three Speckled Sussex (Flurry, Dorothy, and Cosette), two Domniques (Sally and Penny), and our Blue Copper Maran (Cooley). Here's Dorothy, with Sally close behind and Flurry far in the background.

I'm quite excited that we found Speckled Sussex sort-of-close to home! At this point we didn't want to take the time to raise chicks, so buying already-laying birds was our best shot. Cosette, below, has just graduated from pullet stage and is definitely at the bottom of the pecking order (hence her name, which is French for "little thing"). Poor girl pretty much stayed inside the coop for her first few days with us! But now she's ventured out, and while she's still picked on (pecked on?) if she's too forward, she's holding her own. I always try to throw some scratch or mealworms her way at treat time, because she's usually about two or three feet away from the "action."

Would you believe that naming the chickens was quite a challenge?! Flurry was so dubbed because she has quite a bit of white speckling on her back, like a bit of snowfall. Dorothy came from "Dottie," again because of her speckled back. Cosette I've mentioned, and Sally and Penny were named for Sally Henny Penny from The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle (and other Beatrix Potter stories).

We're finally getting some tangible benefits from our chickens, because we found this in the run on the very first day we brought them home!

Flurry has been laying from day one, Dorothy started laying soon after, and one of the Dominiques has laid an egg for us, too. Hopefully the rest will get the idea... at any rate, our breakfast scrambled eggs this morning were entirely "home laid," even if we did have to save for a few days to get enough! It's always so exciting to find an egg (or two, or three) in the nesting box!

I'll have to post a picture of the completed coop soon -- it was a labor of love (mostly...), and I'm pleased with how it turned out!

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