Featherdust Flock

By Nambroth · Jan 12, 2012 · Updated Feb 12, 2016 · ·
Rating:
5/5,
  1. Nambroth
    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.
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    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.
    4' x 8' footprint (excluding nesting boxes and overhang), stick built with only handheld tools.
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    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.
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    The NEW coop was retrofit in late 2017, and was built inside of an old shed.
    I wrote an article about how we did it, in case you want to learn more. The main coop, as of October 2017:

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    The Chickens
    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.

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    Turns into this, all too soon...
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    Lorp
    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.

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    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.

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    If Lorp could hover over the dirty earth, she would. Her feet are far too beautiful to become soiled by walking.
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    Kua, RIP 2011-2013
    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.

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    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.
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    RIP, Kua. Kua succumbed to aggressive ovarian cancer, as her breed is prone to serious reproductive illnesses.

    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.

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    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.
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    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.

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    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.
    Chickadee
    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.
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    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.

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    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?"
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    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.

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    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.

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    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.
    'Relly
    (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!

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    Rellyis rolly-polly, happy-go-lucky, weird, and weird. She loves her chair.
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    She loves to stare, motionless, at things. Sometimes even when there is nothing to stare at.
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    Willow
    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.


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    Mildred
    Cochin Hen

    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.
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    Baron Rufflerump (aka "Puddles" or "Bubbles")
    Cochin Rooster

    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.
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    Trousers (RIP 5/2012 - 3/15/2013)
    Cochin Cockerel

    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.


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    Derperella realizes that Trousers is big enough to be her house.
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    He loved the girls, and he loved them too. He was always very kind, gentle, and sweet with them.
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    He even let them sit on him, and didn't mind a bit.
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    He listened to us carefully, and obeyed us like a dog. He seemed very intelligent and kind.
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    We love you, Trousers! Rest in peace, my sweet friend.
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    The BIELEFELDERS!
    Bielefelder chickens!!!

    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.
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    Above: Snoozing in my lap

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    IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

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    QUEEN TITANIA
    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.

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    BUMBLEBEE

    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.

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    FUNGUS
    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.

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    LARKSPUR
    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.

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    THISTLE
    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.

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    GANYMEDE
    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.

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    BRACKEN
    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.

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    NUTMEG
    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.

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    MOOSE
    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!
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    About Author

    Nambroth
    Jennifer Miller "Nambroth" is a full time professional artist, with a life-long passion for birds.

Recent User Reviews

  1. Cryss
    "Oh my heart!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Sep 19, 2018
    Beautiful. Beautiful birds. Beautifully written. Beautiful relationships between bird and bird, bird and human. Beautiful heart of Fud Lady that sees the real personalities (chickenalities?) of each individual bird. I found my heart swelling with love for each one, then breaking at the losses the world must endure. Bravo Fud Lady. Bravo Beautiful Chickens.
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Comments

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  1. Abriana
    I noticed that on Coho's introduction it said "RIP" but you didn't mention her dying. does that mean something else?
  2. Abriana
    Such a sweet, wonderful article. Trousers is very beautiful. I know how much you miss him, i have had a sudden chicken death too, of a sweet little blue-yellow chick. I miss her very much as well. Rest in Peace Trousers.
  3. Kluk-Kluk
    Loved the descriptions of the chickens' personalities. Lovely girls - and a very handsome rooster. Hope you have found another one to take his place.
  4. Chicka and Co
    What a brilliant article, I really adored hearing about your chickens and their humorous personalities ... especially Lorp haha!
  5. jklyles1
    Love this story..and love your chickens and their names!
  6. TheWeaver
    We're all just goin' 'round the rooster here.
  7. birdsrfun
    You have some stunning looking birds. What a great flock!
  8. Sam3 Abq
    Great photos! Thanks for sharing. We are looking at our 1st flock in the spring. My daughter and I just looked at your flock. Thanks a bunch.
  9. sahagi
    You have done your flock a lovely justice with your writing. I can see how much they mean to you and how well you know them. You are lucky to have each other.
  10. Missa Chickabee
    Can't belive it but...I got a little tear or two when I looked at that last pic. What an amazing rooster was your Trousers.....and a fabuous name you gave him. Your birs'ds' names tell me you have a sense of humor like mine!
  11. Yay Chicks!
    Beautiful pics!!
  12. Just Chicks
    Love your birds and I can tell you do too!, beautiful pics of your flock!
  13. Tacampbell1973
    I am awestruck by how beautiful your Trousers was/still is. He has the same coloring as my Bantam Cochin boys, and the same adorable fluffy bloomers. I love how they waddle when they run,or try to.
  14. Weasleymum
    I am blown away by your photography, and the hilarious descriptions of each bird! What a lovely flock.
  15. chickenluver555
    your flock is sooo pretty
  16. theoldguy
    Very nice flock. Thank you for sharing you flock family :)
  17. Barred4Life
    Loved your article! The pictures are beautiful :) The way you describe them show your dedication to them. The photo of the cuddly hen sitting on Trousers...hehehe...priceless.
  18. Katt66
    Beautiful pics and lovely stories to go with each of your chickens. You can tell they are all deeply loved and treasured members of your family. I really enjoyed your artwork of your lovely Queen Moa. <3
  19. anirishfarmer
    a great post thanks for sharing,,, Rip trousers
  20. Shabana
    Wow ! I cannot believe how attractive a rooster Trousers was. He was absolutely stunning. The pic with the hen sat on him says it all doesn't it. What a sweet guy. I love roosters, I wouldn't be without them. Fantastic photos - you should enter him in the calendar competition :)
  21. Nutcase
    Your photographs are amazing!! I was laughing while reading this! Congrats on POW! :)
  22. MissKris
    This article had me cracking up so hard - your chickens sound awesome!
    But then by the end of it, I was nearly crying. Poor Trousers! :-(

    Nothing can run my emotions around quite like chicken stories.
  23. MeAndTheBoyz
    wonderfully done! loved all aspects - thanks for posting!!
  24. cluckcluckluke
    WOW, fantastic read. Thank you so much Jennifer.
    I remember reading everything about Trousers troubles. I'm glad he still remains prevalent on BYC.
    I am amazed at how different Chickadee and Moa are. The same breed yet such different personalities, facial expressions and looks.
    All of your flock are looking great ( especially Lorp ), keep up the great work!
  25. BYC Project Manager
    Congratulations, we've chosen one of your chicken pics for the Chicken Picture Of the Week. Thanks for posting your chickens to our "My Chickens" pages! You can find more info about our POW here: BYC POW process
  26. Nike
    Beautiful birds! I love Derp's story!
  27. CherylR
    What a handsome roo you have! :) ....and what a lucky fella he is with all those lovely ladies around to spend his days with!!
  28. Gomes Bantams
    i found you on deviant art!
  29. Sally Sunshine
    Wonderful Pics!! just Lovely!!
  30. Chez Poulet
    So sweet! I loved reading this, pics are great!
  31. Lisa Williams
    im sorry i havent posted my chicks but i dont have the pics on my computer just yet so i posted my amazon parrot. ty
  32. Lisa Williams
    you have some awsome bird. im just starting out so..i know bout chicken but i have never raised any from babies. i have 6 hens atm an will get atleast 4 more with a rooster tomorrow. i also will be getting a few silkies. like i told my husband if im gonna get laying hens an have to feed them i want a few silkies. i think they are so pretty, my husband dont like the idea but once i get them he will be ok. men lol can be so funny at times.
  33. poultryman17
    nice to read. thanks. it made me smile
  34. johndrean
    Ha! Great chicken biographies! Thank you. :)
  35. Sammimom
    I so enjoyed reading about your chickens! What a fun read!
  36. RedDrgn
    LOVE this! The part about Moa really made me laugh, too. You obviously have a wonderful, well-loved flock, and they're very lucky. :)
  37. 2seth2
    love the detail
  38. ChickenPeep
    Your flock sounds like so much fun! Thanks for sharing. :)
  39. NoZolbitty
    I love the illio of Moa, Have you done any illustration work?
  40. Timster881
    Beautiful! :)
  41. kemoran
    Only other chicken lovers understand....
  42. jldrigge
    SWEET CHICKENS!!!!
  43. chicosrevenge
    Lovely Chickens!
  44. chicknfun
    Oh, you have beautiful chickens!!
    Thanks for the article, Great read!
  45. drumstick diva
    Had to read this, how could I resist? I am a devoted follower of Derp. Thru her I have met the others - every chicken has his own story. None are "just chickens." They are little people in feathered costumes. Keep it coming great fud lady!!
  46. DNCXmom
    I really enjoyed your article What a wonderful flock. Derperella...had me really laughing. Great photos!
  47. 202roosterlane
    Love your chickens! Thank you for sharing and you are a wonderful writer.
  48. Whittni
    That's real cute and funny.
  49. figliadelre
    Beautiful photos! Oh, and Derperella = the BEST dopey chicken name EVER! "Derp! Derp!" I was nearly in tears laughing as I read about her.
  50. Lothiriel
    My Aussie did the exact same thing as Lorp when my rooster gave any kind of attentions to another hen! But she hated him with a passion if he dared assume she wanted any of it... :p What a beautiful flock!

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