Welcome to Nambroth's Featherdust Flock!
My real name is Jennifer, but I've been posting things on the internet under 'Nambroth' for some 18 years and it sort of stuck, and became my username everywhere! I am a full time artist, and love to paint birds. If you are curious about my art, here's my website.
Thanks for stopping by one of the little corners of the internet dedicated to my bitty flock of chickens. For an ongoing story thread about my flock of chickens, feel free to visit my tiny corner of the BYC Forum over here.
I have been keeping companion birds (until now, only members of the parrot family) for over three decades, 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 old 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 (old) Coop, nearly completed.The NEW coop was retrofit in late 2017, and was built inside of an old shed.
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.
I wrote an article about how we did it, in case you want to learn more. The main coop, as of October 2017:
Note: Sadly, over the years, some of the chickens have passed away. If a chicken is no longer with us, I have noted their year of birth and death next to their name, along with "RIP".
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.
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.
Kua, RIP 2011-2013
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.
Moa, RIP 2011-2017
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. Don't let it fool you: She's very sweet.
She is the stern, but 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.
Moa also loves hugs. Really! She insists on a hug every morning, and is one of my biggest cuddlers. She delights in plopping down in my lap to nap, and very interestingly enough, is the hen I trust the most not to peck at my face in curiosity. She and her sister, Chickadee, are the chickens that most reliably want to be near me.
RIP, sweet Moa. Moa passed away in October of 2017 after battling egg peritonitis for months. Despite surgery and treatments, it was too much for her body. Sadly this is common for her breed/origin.
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 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.
Coho, RIP 2011-2015
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.
RIP sweet Coho. Coho always had a very poor immune systems and fell ill repeatedly. Despite veterinary care, her body gave out on her in 2015.
(Supposed to be) Salmon Faverolles hen
'Relly has her own thread, here. If you are intrigued, please visit it and read her true stories.
Relly!. We altered her name as her original name was possibly a bit insensitive. She doesn't know the difference, so all is well! 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!
Relly did not develop right from the very start, and seems to have several handicaps. She arrived cold and stiff in the box. Determined, I warmed her and tried to save her. Several times she did seem like she would leave us as only a tiny chick, but she fought, and survived!!
At age 5, she developed a severe case of wry-neck. We took her to one of the best avian vets in the country and tried many things and nothing helped. This seemed to be part of her poor genetics. Still, she adapted, and despite still having some wry-neck related mobility issues, she thrives!
She has her own way of life. She is Relly.
She has her big Faverolles beard in these photos, but one year several years ago her sister, Coho, ate her beard feathers off (why? who knows!) and she never re-grew them. That's okay, Relly!
Rellyis rolly-polly, happy-go-lucky, weird, and weird. She loves her chair.
She 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 (gosh!!). 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 was Trousers, the rooster.
Mildred, or "Millie" for short, is a giant bowling ball of a black cochin hen. Our largest chicken by volume, Mildred is very mellow, plodding, and simple. Mildred doesn't have a lot going on upstairs, but that's okay, she enjoys the finer things in life; being large, eating, and staring vacantly. Mildred was hatched by a local chicken keeper in July of 2013.
Baron Rufflerump (aka "Puddles" or "Bubbles")
Baron Rufflerump was hatched at the same time as his "cousin", Mildred, in July of 2013. A blue (grey) rooster, he is a real Momma's Boy. He is very sweet with people, but not particularly good with the hens (except Mildred). When he turned a year old, he experienced sudden paralysis of his legs, and we thought for sure he had Marek's disease, despite being vaccinated. After several rounds of testing, and PCR tests (the most reliable tests for Marek's), he was found to be clear of the disease, and with physical therapy he can get around. His legs never healed properly, so he has a stilted "walk" (more of a weird shuffle), but he enjoys life and the girls help take care of him, and he can walk well enough to take care of himself. He currently enjoys life in a smaller, secondary coop with Mildred, as it makes it easier for him to get around with lots of soft bedding.
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 (of diagnosis) 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.
9 amazing chickens, all hatched April 2, 2018.
There are chickens, and then there are BEST CHICKENS. While it is true that I have not met every chicken ever to have existed, these very chickens are the best chickens I’ve ever had. Exceptionally friendly, intelligent, and even kind to one another over things like food scuffles, so far these cuties have wedged themselves so far into my heart that there’s just no room left for anything else. I have become a chicken elemental.
Above: Snoozing in my lap
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
The Queen is the most beautiful hen in the universe. She is the queen of all fey chickens and is a just and fair lady. To be totally honest she isn’t currently the boss hen, but she’s the boss hen of my heart. Elegant, calm, and thoughtful, she is the first to run over to check on any of the other flock members if they cry out. Queen Mom. The Queen is also one of the first to hop into my lap if I sit nearby, and she settles carefully, crossing her toes neatly, to watch everyone as I pet her.
Bee is the smallest Bielefelder. She was so small when she hatched that we weren’t sure if she’d make it. Then she grew giant wings but her body didn’t keep up for a while, causing her to look like a round bumblebee. Grow she did, into a very intense child. Bee is very intense. She is also very busy. A strange combination of always too busy and distracted to notice things, but way too intense when she does. Somehow, she also has the deepest and loudest voice, despite being a waif, and conjures up a crescendo of bassoon noises for seemingly no reason at times. Bee was once the most snuggly of the group, but now is marching to her own tune and it is a rare treat when she wants pet. If you have ever seen the Nickelodeon show “Pete & Pete”, Bee is the chicken manifestation of Little Pete.
When Fungus was a chick, her patterning looked like the beautiful patterns on Turkey-tail mushrooms (Trametes versicolor). Fungus is a beautiful name and Fungus is a beautiful hen. Curious and smart in a thoughtful and quiet way, Fungus is often one of the first to check out a new situation or item along with Larkspur, and picked up target training in less than two minutes. Probably Bee's sister, she has many mannerisms very similar to Bumblebee. While she is not overly cuddly, she loves to be near people, enjoying sitting close to or even on an arm or leg.
Lark is a Clever Girl. Smart, curious, bold, and at times a bit obnoxious, she likes to study new things and situations long before the other chickens gather enough courage to draw near. She knows what she wants and will demand it; if she wants to be pet or want attention, she will neatly tug on your pants leg. Her honks toot out in cadences that match human speech. Coincidence or not, it feels like you are having a conversation with her when she’s around. Possibly second in command along with Ganymede.
Gorgeous, glowing and golden, Thistle is a very lovely lady. She is also a very LORGE CHONKER. This hen is BIG. Smart but calm and observant, she is boss hen of the flock. Though she spends less time on the humans than other members of the flock, she is always nearby, watching over things. She is the most calm in the face of the older, grumpier chickens, and will roost next to them in peace, whereas the other Bielefelders will spook away. Cool and collected, Thistle typically only enjoys a brief snuggle before she has to hop down and do a quick patrol.
Mellow Ganymede is cursed with perpetual Old Woman Face. Despite this, she landed herself near the head of the flock, and seems to be sharing “second in command” with Larkspur. Ganymede is a heat seeking cuddle missile, sometimes to an extreme as she launches up try to fuse with us. Otherwise, she will smoosh her billowing hen bosom against any person nearby and try to shove her head into Cuddle Position (usually an armpit). Like Larkspur, she honks in cadences, often seemingly asking why we aren’t touching her at all times. When she wants attention, she will grab clothing and pull it to her chest and hold it here, like a child.
Pure and innocent, Bracken is a bit of a “redhead”, having a reddish cast to all of her feathers. Perpetually sleepy and sweet, she seemingly hasn’t grown up yet, acting like a chick most of the time and never challenging the others. She will beg for food with sad cheeps, before eating tremendously, and then diving into a lap for whole-body cuddles. It is common for Bracken to press against one’s chest and shove her head into one’s armpit to have a snooze. At meal times, she alone will hop up in the air in excitement. She is always very gentle with people and other chickens. Often, after she lays her egg, she simply goes to sleep in the next box, much to the complaint of the other hens.
Bold and mature, Nutmeg is on a mission and that mission is known only to her. She is not always very careful with her beak, and occasionally gets carried away with her nudges for attention. Also like Bracken, she has a bit of a sleepy demeanor to her. Bracken and Nutmeg have been very close since they were chicks.
Moose is the rooster, the Mooster, the Moos! Silly and mellow, Moose is still very sweet and calm for a rooster. His voice went directly from awkward baby honks to a deep, “BOK, BOK, BOK”. Moose is very tall and will be quite large once he is mature (many Bielefelder roosters are over 12lbs!), and is well on his way. He never seems to know how to manage his huge stomping feet, and loves showing us his wings whenever he greets us. When he sees us he excitedly approaches as he loves to be hugged and cuddled, often stretching his neck all the way out to rest along one’s arm to nap while being pet. His crow is strong but not too loud, and he only crows rarely (once in the morning, and sometimes if the hens need something such as more food). He is never rough with the girls, and is very respectful when he interacts with our other rooster (Baron Rufflerump). Despite being so sweet and gentle, he is still very watchful and protective of the hens, and is a perfect pet rooster!