My Flock of Biddies
Hello! Chic_Girl here! I just wanted to show off to the world my favorite flock of birdies!
My First Flock
Hmm- looking back into the depths of my childhood, my first flock of poultry was 6 ducks. Yes, ducks! On a farm where my sister took riding lessons, I used to chase their flock of Pekins and Runners all over, and became obsessed with ducks. One visit, my sister's riding instructor told me that there were some ducklings in their pasture, and would I be able to catch them for her? After a journey of chasing and catching little Runner and Pekin ducklings, and putting them in a bucket, I arrived home that day with two lovely babies of my very own. My poor parents! I still remember their names- Peeps, Ducky, Gladys, Junior, Cream and Cuddles. (How original.)
This started my addiction to backyard poultry, and to control my addiction, my parents let me join 4-H. Every year, for 10 years, I brought ducks to the fair. I don't know how many ducks I've had since my first flock! I've had Pekins and Cayugas and East Indies and Khakis and Blue Swedish and Runners.... any way, a lot of ducks!
Ventures into Chickendom
Four years ago, I got into chickens, in a very unusual way. I was visiting a friends farm, to learn how to show a goat, and we played with her pen of 50- yes, 50- broilers she was growing out. In the sea of chunky, clucking Cornish Crosses, I noticed a teeny, tiny little black chick. I picked it up, and fell in love. This little mystery chick was a freebie from the hatchery, and was quickly being outgrown by its broiler friends. I drove home with that little chick in my front seat.
My parents were not pleased, but only grumbled minimally. The chick was a gawky teenager, but no one could identify it's breed. I hoped it would be a hen, but instead, my mystery chick became a gorgeous rooster, named Sherlock. The same friend who had given me my first chicken also bestowed upon me a guinea fowl keet to keep my rooster company. No one knew what a guinea fowl was, so I just raised it like a chicken and hoped for the best. It was eventually named Kevin, after the bird in the movie 'Up'.
Kevin and Sherlock were the best of friends, and little terrors. Sherlock developed a bad habit of flogging people who entered his pen, and Kevin terrorized the ducks, and sang sweet, machine-gun serenades every evening. All the same, I loved them and kept them, until one day I entered their pen to find it empty and scattered with feathers.
Sherlock was eventually identified by a BYC'er as a Silver-Spangled Hamburg- a mystery bird no longer!
The Chicken Flock
After Kevin and Sherlock, I was determined to show chickens for my last few years of 4-H. My first true flock of chickens came in to form of 5 Bantam Buff Brahmas, and 4 WCB Polish bantams. They were such fun to raise, and because of them, I was brought here to BYC! I learned so much about chickens from this site, and I think that BYC had increased my addiction tenfold! (Thanks, guys....) After raising these guys for a year, last spring, I bought a Brinsea Mini incubator, and hatched eggs from my very own chickens, which resulted in the flock that I own now.
That was a great experience, though I haven't hatched any more chicks since!
My favorite Bantam Brahma rooster, Kurano, and his daughter, Kogane, in the 'bator, and his daughters in the yard!
And without further ado, let me present...
Chick_Girl's Current Flock!
I've had to downsize my flock considerably in these past few months, so what I have now is an ever-changing mix of chicken (and duck) personalities!
The remaining member's of my original flock, and the ones I am most attached too, are my two White Crested Black Polish Hens, Shanaynay (Sha-nay-nay) and Courtney! They were purchased from Eagle's Nest hatchery in the spring of 2011. These sassy hens win the hearts of everyone who meets them- at my country fair, people remember them, and always ask me about my Afro-Chickens! They won several prizes, though they aren't show quality, don't ask me how....
Shanaynay is my bumblefoot queen-I don't know how many cases she's had, but we try different treatments each time... She is very much her own chicken, and neither her nor her sister are cuddlers, though I love swooping down and giving them hugs!
Here we have Shanaynay chillin' inside, Courtney and Shanaynay getting their feet soaked, and Courtney bee-bopping about the garden!
My Bantam Brahmas are the offspring of my original Brahmas, but they are quite cute too- I hatched them myself in March 2012! Together, they are known as the Brahma Biddies, the Triplets, and my Tweedle-dees, but their names are Kana, Kogane, and Sakura, all named by a friend. They are surprisingly good layers of small brown eggs. Two of them have a bad habit of jumping onto shoulders when ever someone is crouched down- many times, friends and family members have been shocked to find a chicken suddenly perching on their head!
Here's baby pictures, and pre-teen pictures of Kana, Sakura and Kogane. The last pic is recent- it's two of them in egg-laying and
My lone Sultan hen was given to me by some wonderful 4-H'ers at my fair, who wanted her to go to a home with other Crested birds. Her name is Diana, or Princess Dee, or Chicka-Dee, depending on what I feel like calling her. She is a beautiful ball of snowy white marshmellow-fluff feathers, and is buddies with the Polish sisters. Dee is a very skittish bird, and does tend to get bullied. The Barred Rocks have a bad habit of pulling out her leg feathers. She doesn't like being handled, but since I always have to clean her bloody feet, she must learn to tolerate it
Dee and Shanaynay chatting it up, and Dee cruzing about the yard!
My last group of hens include my Barred Rock girls, purchased from Eagle's Nest in spring of 2012. They are named Bridget the Saucy One, Cora the Chunky One, and Loretta the Clever One. They were my agreement with my father- "If I make you a chicken coop, you have to get chickens that will lay real eggs- not little tiny eggs." IMO, all eggs are real eggs. These three girls are indeed great layers of large, brown eggs, and they keep my family happy for that- on the other hand, they have caused a lot of trouble in my coop, being notorious peckers of Polish heads, Sultan feet, and each other.
Loretta is by far my favorite of the three- she is a cuddler, likes scratches, and with time, a clicker, and mealworms, she can be trained to do almost anything. I have taught her to jump on shoulders on command, spin in circles, and fly onto outstretched arms!
Pictures- chick pics,Cora soaking up the sun, and Clever Loretta figuring out the tub and soaking her feet (and unintentional brother- gone now.)
Last, but not least, I have my duck flock! They are free ranged, and roam across the puddles and lakes that form in our yard every time it rains. They consist of 4 Mutt-Ducks, or really bad quality Runners from Meyer hatchery, and 2- formally 3- Khaki Campbells. I've had my three Mutt-Duck hens for almost 4 years, and they still lay like crazy in the summer! The Mutt-Duck drake was hatched from one of their eggs by our neighbor's son, so he is technically their son's duck who lives with out flock. Their names are Muffin, Cinnamon, Latte and Waffles. The two Khaki's, Lemon and Grapefruit, (Don't ask) were my last show-birds, and they were raised with the chickens, so for a while, they didn't know they were ducks! But now they love their new flock, and enjoy roaming the pastures and spooking the horses!
The Khaki sisters, the Mutt-Ducks, and the ducks up to no good.
And that's my flock! Thank you for taking the time to read my long-winded (-worded?) story of my Birdies!