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KoKo, harem, and gender identity issues

By andaluz, Nov 13, 2013 | Updated: Nov 13, 2013 | | |
  1. andaluz
    My very 1st poultry experience: I moved to a new home that had a hen house in the back and I knew at some point I would like a few hens for eggs. However, someone was trying to get 9 roosters adopted and I felt I should/could provide room and board for at least one of them. This handsome French Maran moved in. I was scared of KoKo (named so as coq is French, koko is esparanto, and his hackle feathers are so Coco Channel) initially, but although we are still learning about each other, we are on very good terms.

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    Next task was finding him a harem - not that easy to find anyone willing to part with laying hens around here. I scored 1 hen and 1 pullet from a local permie farm: Andaluz who I guessed was Andalusian lays a daily light brown egg. She can be quite histrionic and I have learned she cannot bear being touched - she simply freaks out. She is a steady layer, goes into labor for about an hour, defies the stereotype and lays in the late afternoon, then just walks away.
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    Little Hola of unknown breed (perhaps mixed RIR) who had crossed the border from Mexico, who I was told was a pulllet (a word I had to look up) but I seriously question that now. I believe that in addition to possible gender identity issues, she/he may be touched by PTSD and may also have an imaginary friend. Hola previously the smallest of the hens is now 2nd only to KoKo in size. She/he is a loner and lowest in the pecking order and is a bit flighty and exhibits very odd behavior - (which may well just be hormonal whirlwinds or may well be mental health issues). I have to sneak her treats as the others will not let her in their inner circle.
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    Just when the trio were getting into their routine, Regina Gallina (Speckled Sussex) came into our lives. She worked her way from day 1 as queen hen - wouldn't let anyone get away with anything. I tried saving her feathers but she just kept molting and never laid. Yet after finishing her molt she was even more gorgeous and speckled. She is intently and solely focused on food, now lays a quite nice light brown egg almost daily but will eat them given the chance. She is a mighty quick draw when it comes to scratch - she can knock back more seeds in a lickety split second before any of the other 3 can get at them. She is fearless and will snatch food out of KoKo's mouth. She will run you over like a truck for food:
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    Its been less than 3 months now, I'm still learning about them and am thoroughly mesmerized by them. If I could, I would watch chicken 8 hours a day.

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  1. Brookliner
    I'm afraid that Little Hola is a rooster and is second man down to KoKo.

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