Chickens was my idea, but when the time came to buy our chicks, everyone but me got to pick their favorite. What we ended up with were four different breeds for our suburban Chicago backyard farm. It all worked out fine, though: I could never choose an absolute favorite among my girls. They're all special and wonderful in their own unique ways. Let's meet the ladies now:
Pepper: Black-feathers that shine green and purple in the sunlight. Born in mid-May 2013, she's an Australorp and the queen of the coop. She's a fair and gracious ruler, though. Keeps the others in line with more of a motherly dominance than anything bullish. She's the apple of my 12-yr-old son's eye, and enjoys being pet by him the most.
Trinity: About a week after we bought three chicks at the local feed store, a fresh delivery of Barred Rocks came in and my husband was smitten. Besides the fact that her tiny hawk-like face and screechy call reminded him of his beloved Chicago Blackhawks, he was most impressed with how fast she grew and of course her luxe silver feathers. I love her coop antics, and can watch her bob and weave through the backyard all day long. Someday she'll slow down enough for me to catch her for a quick pet, but for now I'll just have to be a spectator.
Princess: As a chick she was a robust golden yellow. She soon grew cinnamon feathers and a bright red comb -- and a set of lungs to wake the neighbors! Our hybrid Cinnamon Queen can be a royal pain on early Saturday mornings when she proclaims her egg glory. But I find it charming whenever she responds to our chatter with her. She's in constant competition for 2nd place with her Barred Rock sister, and I think she edges her out only because she's one week older, which I'm sure she doesn't let Trinity forget.
Sundae: Oh, my bird with the bouffant! At one week old she had a top knot of yellow fuzz, and had a signature "pur-peep" sound. Now five months later she has a fabulously full white crest and a diva attitude to match! This Polish is lowest in the pecking order, but I don't know if she knows it. Instead she tends to stick close to the coop as the other larger gals push the boundaries of the garden and fencing. Her vision is limited because of her Ringo Starr feathers, as I like to call them, which make her a bit more testy than the others. Her first instinct is to strike out like a cobra before relenting to any petting or hand-fed treats. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but a fun one to watch. Especially when she chases my 85-pound dog from her scratching territory.