Sadly we have lost all of these hens except old Olive. I've moved Olive's section to a page with my red sexlinks and will no longer be updating this page.
I began my adventure into chickening with a bit of disobedience on my sister's part. She had gone to Arkansas in the spring of 2005 to stay with a friend at their grandparent's house, where they kept chickens. They were hatching chicks at the time and my parents told her she could not bring them home, but she did anyway. She brought home seven barnyard mutt chicks that spring. Of those seven, six were roosters. To this day, I am not convinced that those folks didn't know they were giving my sister a bunch of roosters.
We frequented the local Tractor Supply store, as it seemed there was always something we needed for these chicks. Tractor Supply was selling their own chicks at the time and, since my sister was adamant that all the chicks she brought home were hers, my mom bought seven more chicks from TSC for my brother and I to share, five Easter-eggers, an Australorp, and a Rhode Island red.
I regret to say I have no pictures of these old gals at the beginning. I barely remember what they looked like as chicks. But they were distinguishable enough and they each got names. Mine was Ducki, an Easter-Egger who grew up to be white with gray and red feathers here and there. My brother's was Cub, who grew up to be a red-toned Easter-egger with blue splashed in her neck and tail. My mom named one Maddie, and she was a regal golden hen with a black head and tail. Somehow, my sister ended up naming the rest; Chickie and Smoky were the remaining Easter-eggers, Baby was the Rhode Island red, and Aspen was the Australorp. The only hen she brought home from Arkansas was named Toasty.
Today, the only living of these originals are Cub and Chickie.
Cub is one big Easter-egger. Towering over the other birds, she has a heavy gait and a glare that could stop you in your tracks.
Cubby loves her scratch grains and would do just about anything for them. If she is anywhere on the property and even a single grain of scratch hits the ground, she will hear it.
Here's Cubby in the cold after hopping up and tolerating some attention. Note the stink-eye.
Poor old Cubby, she didn't quite make it to her 10th birthday. Late March 2005 to March 19, 2015. Rest well, Cubby...
Rest in peace, old girl.
The year after starting my chickening adventure, my sister had long since given up on caring for 'her' chickens and it had become a tag-team effort between my mom and I. I did most of the feeding and watering, she did most of the cleaning and egg collecting, and we only sometimes switched roles.
It was around that time when someone that my mom worked with decided she did not care to raise chickens and wanted to get rid of her flock of Rhode Island reds. My mom, being the sucker that she is for animals in need, promised to take ten of their flock of 25.
The Rhodies arrived in the spring of 2007. They were either point-of-lay or older at that time. We absolutely could not tell them apart at first, so we tagged each of them and began discussing names. We ended up with a variety of, well, interesting names: Twisty, Olive, Pace, Sienna, Pen-Pen, Rex, Dot, Ethel, Lucy, and Hawk. Olive and Pace are the only ones to survive to this day.
Pace is the only bird larger than Cub in our flock. Pace got her name because she paces a lot when she wants something. A simple bird, she enjoys the little things in life, like jamming herself into the smallest nest box and accidentally crushing all the eggs in it with her giant feet.
Okay, maybe that last line was a little rude... Sorry, Pace!
Pace is silly. As the largest bird in the flock, you would think her squat would be something to behold. ...Well, it really isn't. She just kind of plops her rear on the ground and only slightly puts her wings out.
Pace nearly passed away in a heat wave in the summer of 2012, when I found her collapsed at the gate to the chicken yard. She has since recovered and seems fine.
A lot of things surprise Olive. She is surprised at how messy oatmeal is.
She is surprised at how comfy sunbathing can be...
She's surprised that the other birds don't know to get in out of the rain.
She is surprised that you noticed her!
But seriously, Olive has been known as Olive Big-Eyes from the day we got her. She has always had those lovely, big, green eyes, which is why I named her Olive. She is high on the pecking order, too. If anyone steps out of line in her presence, all she has to do is stare... and they get out of her way.
To sum it up...Generation 1
age: 9 years old (born April 2005)
egg color: She used to lay pale blue-geen eggs, though I'm not sure that she's laying anymore.
names: Pace and Olive
sex: both female
age: 7 years old (born in 2006)
breed: Rhode Island red / Production red
egg color: brown
Thanks for reading!