We have new chooks.
A week or so ago we went to the farmers market in search of the perfect pair – a Wyandotte hen and rooster. We didn’t find them, but the Twinadoes wanted to choose a chook each and since we only had four hens and room for about that many more we figured we could get two new hens and still keep looking for our perfect pair. So the girls chose from the range of hens available.
Zoe chose a light sussex… very similar to her other light sussex ‘Beautiful’, except this one she named ‘Love is in the Air Princess’… or just Princess for short. Only a four year old would think Princess was a good name for a chicken!
Izzy chose a quiet little bantam hen, and while I tried to talk her out of the idea, towards one of the other large size hens she was quite adamant that she wanted that one, and so she cam home with us too. I have no idea what breed she is, except that she is a cross of some kind. She is a very pretty caramel colour with black flecks around her neck and tail. She has a funny puff of feathers on her head and feathers on her feet. She also has a limp – early on I thought she had an extra toe on one foot, but now I think she actually is missing a toe on the other foot which might be causing the limp, but it doesn’t seem to bother her. Her name is ‘Chocolate Cupcake’ despite the fact that she is not the colour of chocolate, Izzy has decided that is what her name is… or cupcake for short.
So with those two new additions that gave us six hens. Rosie and Parmy – the two old remaining Isa Browns that we rescued from certain death as ex battery hens when we first got here nearly three years ago. Hattie – Izzy’s lovely slender black Ancona we got this past autumn. Beautiful – Zoe’s light sussex who also joined us last autumn and now Cupcake and Princess.
In the past we’ve managed to ‘acquire’ refugee chooks from various places. All ISA Browns – commercial layers which are bred to lay at lot of eggs in their first year or so and then kick the bucket. Someone was moving house and couldn’t take their chooks? Sure bring them up here. These ex battery hens would be put down if no one took them? sure, we’ll have them. We ended up with a load of Isa hens who have layed well and been loved, but right before we got Hattie and Beautiful arrived three of our other old Isa’s went to the big chook house in the sky and not long after the new hens arrived two more also ‘flew the coop’. They were old and had had a good life since they got here, so it wasn’t too sad an event, but we decided then that we’d try to stick with pure bred chooks when we got new ones…So no more refugees.
That brings me to Monday. In the pouring rain and hail storms The Baldy Boy’s Boss arrives on my door step with three boxes…. his inlaws needed a ‘good home’ for their chooks and of course The Baldy Boy said yes. So five more refugee hens were quietly ‘bork.. borking’ in my laundry all afternoon. I am thinking I should put a sign up at our front gate that reads ‘Ma Pickles Home for Wayward Hens’ since we just seem to attract them!
The new arrivals are a mix of breeds…. and apart from one white Chinese silky bantam – appropriately named ‘Marshmellow’ by Izzy, I have no idea what sort of hens they are.
There are two BIG (bigger than our Isa’s) red brown hens. At first I thought they were more Isa’s but now I am secretly hoping that maybe they are Rhode Island Reds, but that is probably wishful thinking.
There are another two hens who are light cream to caramel coloured and initially I was sure they were commercial layers until they stuck their heads up out of the box. They have a funny tuft of feathers on the top of their head and a floppy comb which is much further down their forehead than on other chooks. I’ve had a quick look online but still have no idea what sort of chooks they are… please yell out if you have any ideas.
And here… is Marshmallow… such a crazy looking chook but the girls are totally besotted by her. She’ll lay little eggs, as will cupcake, and hopefully both of them will go broody, so if we ever get a rooster to fertilise our eggs we’ll have two bantams to incubate them for us!
Four of the new chooks still need names… I’ve let the girls name Marshmallow but steadfastly refuse to have any more chooks named after Disney Princesses or corny love songs… they are chooks, they need good chook names! I was thinking that this would be the perfect opportunity for a bit of a Blog Contest… though I am not sure the right to name one of Ma Pickle’s Wayward Hens as a prize is going to drag in the masses to visit my blog… but if winning naming rights appeals to you then go right ahead and give it your best shot. Name our chooks!