Here are the other females of our house. We are down to only four hens. Two are from last years experimental “exotic layer” order, where I tried to branch out and get different breeds than my old favorites from the Farm Store. I like them, a small banty hen and a white feather hat topper. Though they are faithful layers of small white eggs and quite tame, I went back to the “regular” $1.69 chicks this year. Two of these (the red and the black/white) are the “hot chicks” post from last March, can you believe they were just little yellow balls of fluff a few months ago?
As their feathers came in and they grew bigger we noticed how 2 of them were extra large. with tall red tops. clucking much louder and longer than the others. Yes, two of the hens that I fed and loved and cleaned up after were rooster imposters. I was quite disappointed. That was a lot of work and expense to discover half of the brown eggs we had planned on would not be showing up. Plus those two teenage boy chickens were now showing off and trying to out crow each other, starting at 4 AM. We aren’t countrified enough to put them in the stewpot, so they found a new home via Craigslist.
This sweety is my favorite, and comes running to meet me. Ok, she runs to meet the scrap bucket I am bringing, but still. I call her Phyllis Diller. She is quite tame and lets nervous-but-smiling-visiting children hold her. Plus you can bob her body back and forth; and with that floppy tophat she makes a great Vegas dancing lady impersonation.
We’ve tried various different nesting boxes but the best are clean, dry cat litter boxes. They are made from sturdy plastic, easily rinsed out. We bought them new, I promise–the chunks in the photo above are bits of bark; not kitty lumps! The tray is deep enough for corncob litter or soft hay; so we no longer have broken eggs. But what the hens love is the privacy lid. They like to lay their eggs without onlookers, in seclusion. Totally understandable. I requested a private birthing room myself. But they are full of loud, happy clucking when they lay the egg, full of pride and awe for this every-morning accomplishment. I get that, too. Have you seen my scrapbooks?