Welcome to Nambroth's Flock!
My real name is Jennifer Miller, but I've been posting things on the internet under 'Nambroth' for some 18 years and it sort of stuck.
Thanks for stopping by one of the little corners of the internet dedicated to my bitty flock of chickens.
I have been keeping companion birds (until now, only members of the parrot family) for 27 years, and have found the internet to be a vital tool for consuming as much information, especially up-to-date information, on their overall care.
Finally, in 2008, we purchased our first home. I had to have a home in the country with at least an acre of land... not only because of my love of nature, but I knew all my life I wanted chickens! And so began my research, and penny-pinching, to get into chickens and do it right.
My chickens arrived at my house at two days old. They were hatched on May 9th, 2011.
A handful of tiny little peeps arrived, and I was enchanted. Soon, I was on a whirlwind, receiving an education and joy that only owning chickens can bring.
The Chicken House
Here is our coop and run. It was designed by myself, and built with the assistance of my dad and husband. Because of the lay of our land, much of it is side hill or low and wet so we decided to build high, and attach the coop and run to an existing shed. This somewhat complicated the design, but in the end it worked out for us very well.
The Coop, nearly completed.
4' x 8' footprint (excluding nesting boxes and overhang), stick built with only handheld tools.
The backside of the Coop, and the finished run (it has since been expanded to twice this size). Run is approx. 460 sq. feet.
We have bears, hence the electric fencing.The chickens are only restricted to the run when we cannot supervise/protect them from our numerous predators.
As all of you chicken keepers know, they sure do grow quickly. It wasn't too long before my fuzzy balls of cuteness grew up into the birds they are today.
Turns into this, all too soon...
Black Australorp hen
Lorp is our uncreatively named chicken. She's a diva queen amongst chickens; never have I seen such behavior in a bird before. She has an air about her that everything you do is below her. You must not touch the Lorp, for your hands would soil her pristine plumage. She is the only chicken that I've seen eat daintily, and with great care not to get food on her face or beak.
She is not scared of being touched by people... no, she is merely offended. If you touch her, she will stick her tail straight into the air, make a dignified honk, walk away, and preen the spot that you touched to remove your filth.
She is intense, aloof, and every bit a diva. She is second in the hierarchy only to Moa.
Lorp has turned into the Evil Queen Lorp. Thankfully the flock is balanced enough that her ill manners do not harm any of the others, but still. Lorp, you are not a nice hen.
If Lorp could hover over the dirty earth, she would. Her feet are far too beautiful to become soiled by walking.
Red Sex-Link ("Golden Buff") hen
Kua is the friendly sort, but make no mistake... she likes you because you might have food. Or actually, you are made of food? No matter what, there might be food involved. Kua sure does like food.
Kua had a bit of a rough start. When she was young, she broke her upper beak pretty badly. You can read about it in this thread. Happily, she has recovered fully and is back to eating as much food as she can.
Kua lays for us the most regularly of any of our hens. She has only missed a few days in the last year, with her large and beautiful brown egg. She was the first pullet to start laying, by several weeks. Laying an egg is no big deal for her-- she'd much rather do it quickly and get it over with, so that she can get back to eating food.
If Kua is not eating, or looking for food, something must be wrong.
A.K.A. "The Big Stink"
Barred Plymouth Rock hen
Moa is our top hen. She is the biggest hen, by far, and is full of disdain for most everything. She has a curious wrinkly comb, and a grumpy face that always seems to be scowling.
She is the stern, but generally kind, matronly top hen. She has been known to body-check fighting chickens away from each other with her gigantic bosom and then calmly walk away.
Despite being everyone's boss, Moa is prone to mini-freakouts about weird things. Things that the other chickens don't mind are deeply upsetting to Moa, such as the poop scraper or a bucket. You can easily envision her as a big, voluminous Victorian woman that is offended by anything that is not proper.
I drew this for your visual aid.
Despite being our largest hen by far, Moa lays the tiniest eggs. I can only assume that they need to be small so that she does not exhert herself. We don't want her having Vapors, after all.
Barred Plymouth Rock hen
Chickadee!! From day one, Chickadee would hop into our hands and peep at us with great intelligence and ambition. As she grew, she was the first to hunt insects and became very adept at it. Chickadee learned that I would snap my fingers and point to any crickets I found in the yard, and she now comes any time I call her to this day.
Chickadee has a bright, curious face at all times.
In addition to coming when you call her, she is always the first to figure out a new puzzle, object, or way of eating a treat. If you ask her, she will also happily hop onto your arm, shoulder, or head to spend some time with you.
Chickadee has her own sort of language. Unlike the other chickens, she does not have the normal clucks, trills, and such. Chickadee "Boops."
Chickadee even goes so far as to add inflection to her 'boop', to make it into a question, or a statement. I am not sure exactly what she is trying to say, but it's clear that she is clever about it.
"Boop-boop boop, boop?"
A.K.A. "The Fair Lady Coho of Avalon"
Salmon Faverolles hen
Coho is a fairly typical Faverolles hen. She's fluffy, mostly quiet (except her whining), meek, snuggly, and French.
Coho is near the bottom of the pecking order, because she 1. Doesn't know how to stand up for herself, and 2. Freaks out and cries every time a chicken even gets near her, which only makes things worse because, honestly.
Still, she is very sweet, and a pretty lady. She is a lap hen and actively asks to be hugged.
Define a cuddly chicken, and you might define Coho. If you scoop her up, all she wants to do is bury her face in your chest and hunker down into a snuggle. It's very sweet, but not the best tactic for ranking high on the pecking order.
(Supposed to be) Salmon Faverolles hen
Derperella. Or, just Derp for short. I don't have enough words to describe this special little chicken. This runt that nearly expired more times than I care to count when she was a chick. This little pullet that has captured the hearts of so many people!
Derperella did not develop right from the very start, and might just be mentally handicapped, as far as that goes with a chicken.
She loves you, she loves me, she loves everything.
She loves the grill.
She loves the chair.
She loves everything.
She has her own way of life. She is Derperella.
Derp is rolly-polly, happy-go-lucky, weird, and weird. She loves her chair.
Derp loves to stare, motionless, at things. Sometimes even when there is nothing to stare at.
Easter Egger hen
Willow, so thinkful. The quiet bookworm of chickens. If Willow listened to music, it would be Pink Floyd.
Willow was hatched on May 9th, 2012 (one year from our original flock!) and added into the flock along with her brother, who sadly needed to be re-homed because he tried to kill the girls. Willow lays us lovely sage green eggs, and has a very unique and lovely personality. She has a little bit of bossiness in her, but overall tends to strike out on her own and leave everyone else be. Her favorite flock member is Trousers, the rooster. She thinks that he belongs to her.
Trousers (RIP... 5/2012 - 3/15/2013)
Trousers, so named for his voluminous pantaloons, is a large fowl cochin rooster. Though he came from black and blue parents, his momma had some hidden genetics for the red color, so he's a funny sort of black and red fellow. We find him to be very pretty! I adopted Trousers (unnamed) in October of 2012 after I had re-homed my prior rooster, Panic Pants, for attempting to harm my hens. My situation just made a bad situation dangerous! When I saw an ad here on BYC for someone needing to re-home some gentle and polite cochin roosters, I had to give one a try. After all, two people had helped me out by taking my roosters, and the least I could do was try to do the same thing for someone else. That was one of the best choices I've ever made! Trousers is not only a perfect gentleman, but he crows infrequently (and it's quieter than any other roo I've had!). He is very patient and kind with all of the hens, and myself. He cracks us up with his bass rumblings and slow personality. We adore this giantic powderpuff!!
Edit: Trousers was our first experience with heartbreak in our flock. Despite many precautions, he became abruptly ill and passed away within 5 days from Marek's virus. We have a wonderful vet and did all we possibly could to save him but it had already advanced into Lymphoma and the tumors were throughout his body. You can read more about his passing here, as I will continue to update it in hopes that through his death he will spread awareness and education. We miss him VERY much.
Derperella realizes that Trousers is big enough to be her house.
He loved the girls, and he loved them too. He was always very kind, gentle, and sweet with them.
He even let them sit on him, and didn't mind a bit.
He listened to us carefully, and obeyed us like a dog. He seemed very intelligent and kind.
We love you, Trousers! Rest in peace, my sweet friend.