Because I Don't Like Chickens: Tales of My Flock

My Pretty Pekins

Songster
Apr 25, 2019
238
1,633
186
Somewhere in the English Countryside
My Coop
My Coop
I've wondered about starting a flock thread for a while now, after seeing and enjoying many others. So, in the hopes that just perhaps it will entertain someone else, I'm taking the plunge. (I know. That was dramatic.)

We'll start from the start (how very logical, don't you think?) when my Dad announced we were getting chickens. All well and good. Prefab coop #1, designed for 8 hens (but I tell you, I would not put more than four in the thing!) arrived and so did our hens. We went to pick them out from a poultry farm as point of lay hens, each having scoured the offerings to try to make our decision. Having been warned that we could only have one each (myself and my two siblings), and not to ask for more than three, we took this very seriously and were ready to pick just one.

Because, as Mum firmly said, 'I don't like chickens'

Well, that was the plan. Now, before we go any further, I have to explain one thing. My Dad, my brother and I love animals. My sister could care less. But my Mum - oh, dear! I think the idea of hair and feathers just rankles with her neat and tidy self! So we got to the 'chicken place' as we referred to it as, and began the long and difficult narrowing down of just which hen to get.

My brother was first to make his choice (he actually went for the one I was eyeing up; but no worries!). He was about six at this point and told us he wanted a boy hen to lay him eggs. So he picked out the most 'boyish' of the lot. A pretty Bluebell, who was promptly named Fred.
Next was my sister. She picked a Black Copper Maran hen, and she went into a box along with Fred. The name was to be decided later.
I was crouched by the door and most of the birds (pretty skittish) ran off, but one came up and investigated (read: pecked) my finger. Some have disputed my logic (!) but I went for this one. A really adorable Light Sussex.

And then came the biggest surprise.
Mum was watching intently. "We still have room for one in the box, right?"
Dad replied in the affirmative.
"They're quite pretty, actually, aren't they,"

We all knew what she was getting at, and so Mum the chicken-hater had the honour of picking out a hen that was never meant to come home with us. Okay, so Dad helped too. But whatever. ;)

On the journey home, we discussed chicken names. Everyone, that is, except my brother. He was too busy peeking at Fred through the holes in the box. Dad and Mum had noticed their hen - a Speckledy hybrid - rooting through last year's dead leaves and called her Autumn. It was to prove a very apt name. She had such an obsession with falling leaves; it was genuinely gorgeous. My sister's hen ended up as Mai, after much deliberation over whether it should be Mae with an 'e' or Mai with an 'i'. No prizes for guessing which it ended up as, seeing as I already told you.

Mine was called Pearlie, because of her pretty white feathers. We couldn't get home too soon, what with indignant cries that Fred was sitting on top of Mai and squashing her, and impatience to see them in their new run. So when we did, we each helped open the two boxes...


...to find...


...that Mai had laid. an. egg. On the way home! None of us could believe it; but sure enough, there was a dark brown speckled egg. So she promptly got the nickname of Princess Lay-a.

That was the beginning of our chicken journey. Now we have eleven hens and two cockerels, which is set to expand by up to six within the next week (yes, we have chicks on the way!). Their names are as follows...

5 Pekin bantams
- Rusty, a Millefleur cock. He's quite shy and very defensive of his girls
- Trista, a cuckoo hen. She's really sweet and placid, getting quite old now and we haven't had an egg from her since last spring
- Snowy, who (we think) is a silver partridge cock, son of Rusty and Trista. He's very affectionate when you can catch him. He just like running away!
- Maple, a partridge hen, daughter of Trista and Rusty. She's a little cutie, very talkative and loves cuddles.
- Ebony, a black hen, daughter of Rusty and Trista (technically, because my sister names EVERY black chick Ebony, she's Ebony VIII. But we never call her that, LOL!) She's a total cuddlebug and will come up and say hello at every chance she gets.

3 Light Sussex hens
- Starli, who's getting older now. She doesn't lay more than twice a week now, but is sweet and docile when you can hold her. She's pretty flighty, though
- Romy, who is the flightiest of all of them, and weighs a ton (all the Light Sussexs are heavy but she takes the biscuit!)
- Pearl, who is sweet and much gentler than Romy

1 Magpie Maran hen
- Twilight (my brother is getting a little better with names, I think), a mischievous favourite of the whole family.

1 Black Copper Maran hen
- Tansy, my little bundle of sass. Don't mess with this gal when she's laying, guys!

1 Golden Comet hen
- Goldie - such an imaginative name, I know. We actually got her and her sister Sunny as a sort of refund from someone who had given us 5 sexed hens, of which three were cockerels. Yeah, I couldn't make any sense of it either. But anyhow, we took them home and my siblings were promptly giving temporary name ideas for them. I put my foot down! They always say; we'll call it (x) until we know what it's going to be when it's older. And the name always sticks. At one point we had two lavender Pekins, who were the smallest in the hatch but the loudest. So they were (temporarily) named Squeak and Squawk. The names... stuck. So they ended up as Sunny and Goldie because we knew we'd keep those even as hens! Sunny died not long ago

2 Crested Cream Legbar hens
- Hazel, who absolutely adores Tansy (it's really cute)
- Pecan, who is incredibly tame and tends to stick her head in my welly boot. Don't ask me why. I think she's bonkers, to be honest!

I'll post some pictures of them all soon - and the chicks, when they hatch! We'll be hatching a lot this year, as we regularly rotate our flock and some of the girls are really getting on.

I hope some of you will stick around, watch the thread, and enjoy the hilarious tales each day will surely bring!
 

My Pretty Pekins

Songster
Apr 25, 2019
238
1,633
186
Somewhere in the English Countryside
My Coop
My Coop
I would like to be the drama-queen part of me was clearly intended to be, and come in with a flourish and the whole 'Back by Popular Demand' idea... but actually I just have a funny story which hasn't seen the light of day for way. too. long.

(That's probably dramatic enough without anything else, to be honest)

How Fred Lost Her Name

(and that was pretty dramatic too, right? Okay I should get to the point)

Fred, our Bluebell hen (blame my brother for the name. I had nothing to do with it. Only 6-year-olds would want a boy to lay them eggs), was very skittish. Emphasis on the very. So he was majorly disappointed over this.

It happened that he was going to stay at our grandparents' place for a weekend and the day before he left he made the comment, rather sadly, that perhaps Fred was offended because he'd given her a boy's name.

Mum, who is almost supernaturally good at keeping a straight face, suggested he change it. So, rather imaginatively, Fred became Belle. From Bluebell, of course. And anyhow, little brother went off with his bag of clothes hoping fervently that he'd come home to a cuddly chicken in a few days time.

When he did get back, he wanted to let the chickens out into the garden. And would you believe it?! Belle was circling his feet waiting to be fed.



We never told him I'd spent all weekend tit-bitting her and cuddling her.
 

My Pretty Pekins

Songster
Apr 25, 2019
238
1,633
186
Somewhere in the English Countryside
My Coop
My Coop
I thought I'd quickly drop in again to tell you all a little about me...

I love:
I love photography, space, playing the piano and have many random, crazy hobbies that pop up every now and again. I also love writing, and learning (almost) anything. So much so, in fact, that classmates will commonly ask in a despairing tone, 'Is there any random fact you don't know?' after I've informed them that there is an average of 8 insect legs in any chocolate bar.

I commonly find myself trying to explain away just how I know what I know:
"I only know where Manaus is because one of my favourite books has a character who goes there"
"I only know what a fjord is, and that Tromso has some, because the Tirpitz was moored there during WWII'

Needless to say, I get strange looks quite frequently all the time.

I hate:
I have many weird and wonderful pet peeves, including but most certainly not exclusive to:
- People saying country girls are dumb. You'd be amazed how often I get that
- People who look at me as if I have three heads when I tell them I really can't see the point in shopping
- People thinking I'm a geek just because I actually kind of ... like... lockdown. More time with the chooks is a plus whatever way it comes!
- People saying literally all the time...

Help, I just noticed all these things are people related. Y'know, I should just add people to this list. Not that I'm antisocial or anything...

(my excuse is always that I'm INFJ.... 🤣)



Anyway, if you got this far then WOW... you deserve a pat on the back, give yourself one because I can't!

I am now going to go running off again, because Ebony has the cutest gait and I want to see if I can get a decent picture or video to share!
 

My Pretty Pekins

Songster
Apr 25, 2019
238
1,633
186
Somewhere in the English Countryside
My Coop
My Coop
Today, I woke up and practically screamed in delight on seeing that the garden and everywhere else were covered in snow. Okay, so it's only a couple of inches. But SNOW! Nothing else equals the magic of snow!

I went out, very enthusiastically, to the chickens at 7AM prompt, as always, and opened their door. Hazel and Pecan came out at top speed and began tasting the new treat. The others were slightly more wary!

Excuse the blurred images, the phone doesn't do well in low light.

Rusty on the left, Goldie on the right.
20210208_071110_resized.jpg

I can just SEE what Twilight is saying - "Fortune favours the bold... do I really want to?"
20210208_071120_resized.jpg

Down at the bottom is Pecan, having just eaten all of the snow that was there. The others are Rusty and Goldie again.
20210208_071137_resized.jpg

At the bottom left, Hazel appears to be inviting the others to join the feast!!
20210208_071215_resized.jpg


I do have some better pictures of them all, which I'll post later!
 

My Pretty Pekins

Songster
Apr 25, 2019
238
1,633
186
Somewhere in the English Countryside
My Coop
My Coop
The most beautiful chick in all the world hatched today! Without bias, I can proclaim this as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! Our very first incubator chick hatched from one of our own Pekin eggs! Congratulations my beautiful Ebony, you're a mama for the first time :)

Photos to follow... stay tuned!
 

Happy hen lover

Crowing
Jan 14, 2021
1,499
6,743
476
SW Nebraska
I've wondered about starting a flock thread for a while now, after seeing and enjoying many others. So, in the hopes that just perhaps it will entertain someone else, I'm taking the plunge. (I know. That was dramatic.)

We'll start from the start (how very logical, don't you think?) when my Dad announced we were getting chickens. All well and good. Prefab coop #1, designed for 8 hens (but I tell you, I would not put more than four in the thing!) arrived and so did our hens. We went to pick them out from a poultry farm as point of lay hens, each having scoured the offerings to try to make our decision. Having been warned that we could only have one each (myself and my two siblings), and not to ask for more than three, we took this very seriously and were ready to pick just one.

Because, as Mum firmly said, 'I don't like chickens'

Well, that was the plan. Now, before we go any further, I have to explain one thing. My Dad, my brother and I love animals. My sister could care less. But my Mum - oh, dear! I think the idea of hair and feathers just rankles with her neat and tidy self! So we got to the 'chicken place' as we referred to it as, and began the long and difficult narrowing down of just which hen to get.

My brother was first to make his choice (he actually went for the one I was eyeing up; but no worries!). He was about six at this point and told us he wanted a boy hen to lay him eggs. So he picked out the most 'boyish' of the lot. A pretty Bluebell, who was promptly named Fred.
Next was my sister. She picked a Black Copper Maran hen, and she went into a box along with Fred. The name was to be decided later.
I was crouched by the door and most of the birds (pretty skittish) ran off, but one came up and investigated (read: pecked) my finger. Some have disputed my logic (!) but I went for this one. A really adorable Light Sussex.

And then came the biggest surprise.
Mum was watching intently. "We still have room for one in the box, right?"
Dad replied in the affirmative.
"They're quite pretty, actually, aren't they,"

We all knew what she was getting at, and so Mum the chicken-hater had the honour of picking out a hen that was never meant to come home with us. Okay, so Dad helped too. But whatever. ;)

On the journey home, we discussed chicken names. Everyone, that is, except my brother. He was too busy peeking at Fred through the holes in the box. Dad and Mum had noticed their hen - a Speckledy hybrid - rooting through last year's dead leaves and called her Autumn. It was to prove a very apt name. She had such an obsession with falling leaves; it was genuinely gorgeous. My sister's hen ended up as Mai, after much deliberation over whether it should be Mae with an 'e' or Mai with an 'i'. No prizes for guessing which it ended up as, seeing as I already told you.

Mine was called Pearlie, because of her pretty white feathers. We couldn't get home too soon, what with indignant cries that Fred was sitting on top of Mai and squashing her, and impatience to see them in their new run. So when we did, we each helped open the two boxes...


...to find...


...that Mai had laid. an. egg. On the way home! None of us could believe it; but sure enough, there was a dark brown speckled egg. So she promptly got the nickname of Princess Lay-a.

That was the beginning of our chicken journey. Now we have eleven hens and two cockerels, which is set to expand by up to six within the next week (yes, we have chicks on the way!). Their names are as follows...

5 Pekin bantams
- Rusty, a Millefleur cock. He's quite shy and very defensive of his girls
- Trista, a cuckoo hen. She's really sweet and placid, getting quite old now and we haven't had an egg from her since last spring
- Snowy, who (we think) is a silver partridge cock, son of Rusty and Trista. He's very affectionate when you can catch him. He just like running away!
- Maple, a partridge hen, daughter of Trista and Rusty. She's a little cutie, very talkative and loves cuddles.
- Ebony, a black hen, daughter of Rusty and Trista (technically, because my sister names EVERY black chick Ebony, she's Ebony VIII. But we never call her that, LOL!) She's a total cuddlebug and will come up and say hello at every chance she gets.

3 Light Sussex hens
- Starli, who's getting older now. She doesn't lay more than twice a week now, but is sweet and docile when you can hold her. She's pretty flighty, though
- Romy, who is the flightiest of all of them, and weighs a ton (all the Light Sussexs are heavy but she takes the biscuit!)
- Pearl, who is sweet and much gentler than Romy

1 Magpie Maran hen
- Twilight (my brother is getting a little better with names, I think), a mischievous favourite of the whole family.

1 Black Copper Maran hen
- Tansy, my little bundle of sass. Don't mess with this gal when she's laying, guys!

1 Golden Comet hen
- Goldie - such an imaginative name, I know. We actually got her and her sister Sunny as a sort of refund from someone who had given us 5 sexed hens, of which three were cockerels. Yeah, I couldn't make any sense of it either. But anyhow, we took them home and my siblings were promptly giving temporary name ideas for them. I put my foot down! They always say; we'll call it (x) until we know what it's going to be when it's older. And the name always sticks. At one point we had two lavender Pekins, who were the smallest in the hatch but the loudest. So they were (temporarily) named Squeak and Squawk. The names... stuck. So they ended up as Sunny and Goldie because we knew we'd keep those even as hens! Sunny died not long ago

2 Crested Cream Legbar hens
- Hazel, who absolutely adores Tansy (it's really cute)
- Pecan, who is incredibly tame and tends to stick her head in my welly boot. Don't ask me why. I think she's bonkers, to be honest!

I'll post some pictures of them all soon - and the chicks, when they hatch! We'll be hatching a lot this year, as we regularly rotate our flock and some of the girls are really getting on.

I hope some of you will stick around, watch the thread, and enjoy the hilarious tales each day will surely bring!
Loved the story. Like I'm on the journey too!
 

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