Presenting the Girls, 2011

I gotta say, we’ve had a dramatic chicken year.  And no one really wants chicken drama. Not only is it a pain in the ass and not much fun, but it is more stressful than you might imagine given they are chickens. Or “just chickens” as some will say. Those “just chickens” have occupied a bit too much of my brain space and I am relieved they are all healthy and some semblance of a chicken run is in place.

I suppose since the entire household has been wrought with drama and I wouldn’t expect the chickens have been any different.  But still. Enough is enough!

grow and resist speckled sussex chicken

The Speckled Sussex

I gave the first glimpse of 2011’s round of girls (and showed you how to make an upcycled brooder) here.  The girls had their first real début back in early March.  Damn they were little!  They grew and grew.  Looking at them it is really hard to believe they were so small and fragile.

grow and resist barred rock chicken

The Barred Rock at 3.5 weeks

You might remember that our year old White Crested Black Polish Hen (Calypso) suffered a still-mysterious illness? And that the Barred Rock baby was viciously attacked by our Easter-Egger (Thirsty Boots).   Thirsty Boots went on to attack my new favorite pullet, a Golden Polish Lady Guitar II.  I introduced her here.  Do go check her out if you haven’t- because she was stunning.  I say was because she ultimately died because of her injury. She got a crack full across her beak and suddenly couldn’t eat and died.  As a result, Thirsty Boots found a new home.  So long cool blue/green eggs. Hello peace in the flock.

But without further ado, allow me to roll out the red carpet for the new girls!  All the girls are named after John Denver songs. Because John Denver was a genius. Period.


1 & 2:  the John Denvers–  Black Australorps

grow and resist chicken john denver black australorp

Hi John Denver! This one is 2 weeks older than the other Black Australorp. They eventually will look idenitical so they have the same name. Why is she 2 weeks older? Because I realized we didn't have any matched chickens. And we needed a new couple to follow-up on the Annies (our 2 buff orpingtons). Yes, needed.

grow and resist chicken john denver black australorp

The other John Denver. You can tell she is a bit younger because of the lack of redness in her comb and wattles.

I like the Black Australorps well enough. They are friendly and docile. I gotta say though- they aren’t the most interesting of the bunch.  I feel about them like I do the Buff Orpingtons…they are sweet and nice… but seem to have less personality than some of the others.

3: Esmeralda II– Dominique (perhaps a banty by mistake?)

grow and resist chicken john denver dominique esmeralda II

This is Esmeralda II. (We had an Esmeralda last year but she ended up being a he and went to live somewhere else. Cock-a-doodle-do). Isn't she small? I am thinking they sent us a banty on accident because she is tiny!

Last night I asked the Ladyfriend if she thought maybe Esmeralda was dumber than the other chickens.  I explained that I thought Esnerakda just looked so blank. Somewhat vacant.   Bemused, the Ladyfriend told that no one paid as much attention to the inner personalities and expressions of our chickens as me. Harumpf.  Anyhow, she is cute as a little button.  To watch.  She isn’t easily handled at this point– it turns into a futile game of chase where I am always ‘It.’   Despite her small size, no one has picked on her as chickens are wont to do.

4: Daddy– Silver Laced Wyandotte

grow and resist chicken john denver silver laced wyandotte daddy

Daddy is a hen and, in fact, was the first of our pullets to lay an egg. But he uses male pronouns. What can I say? We have queer chickens.

grow and resist chicken john denver silver laced wyandotte daddy

Look at that comb! And cool speckling!

I really like the Silver Laced Wyandotte. At first I wasn’t too sure. I thought s/he looked mean. But s/he is a sweetheart. Cuddly. Follows me around.  I’m into them.

5: Ripplin’ Waters– Barred Rock

Our attacked pullet. She doesn’t let me take her picture much.   If you are into gore and want to see her not long after her injury you can take a peak here. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

grow and resist chicken john denver barred rock ripplin' waters

Ah, poor Ripplin' Waters. She got her ass kicked way back the end of April. And look at her still! Poor baby. At any rate, no one bugs her but she is a loner. Maybe it is from spending so much time in isolation. Maybe she has PTSD and is skittish around everything.

grow and resist chickens john denver ripplin' waters

This is usually how I find her. Alone under the coop. Cute fluffy bum.

6: Aspen– Speckled Sussex

grow and resist chickens john denver speckled sussex aspen

Oh Aspen! Isn't she a beauty? Brown with white speckles and traces of black that shines a bit of green in the sun. She started laying little eggs this week as well. I think she has decided I am her rooster as she follows me everywhere, climbs on me and all but bats her eyes at me with a come-hither look.

grow and resist chickens john denver speckled sussex aspen

I mean can you not love that face?!

7: Mountain Mama– Rhode Island Red

grow and resist chickens john denver rhode island red mountain mama

I love this girl. She is curious, docile and funny! She is the most gorgeous red with some black feathers in her tail.

I’ve heard people say that Rhode Island Reds can be aggressive or flighty. But she is nothing but calm and curious. She has been the easiest to handle from the beginning and that continues still.  I think she is simply gorgeous!

The Old Girls (so they don’t feel left out)

8 & 9:  the Annies– Buff Orpingtons:

grow and resist chickens john denver buff orpington the annies

Pretty girls. Pretty girls eating all the potted bamboo.

Chicken feet are so freaky.

10: Calypso– White Crested Black Polish

grow and resist chickens white crested black polish calypso

Why hello there Calypso! I love what you've done with all that up top.

Chicken Randomness

grow and resist chicken pullet egg compared to hen egg

Look at that cute egg compared to a regular sized hen egg! I want to bronze it. They make the sweetest fried egg you've ever seen!

grow and resist chicken rhode island red and black australorp

Mountain Mama and one of the John Denvers milling about the coop

grow and resist chicken rhode island red, speckled sussex and black australorp

Ignore my scary feet. And my 90's era birks (a relic by now I'm sure). The real story here is that Aspen has fallen in love with me. And apparently that means no one else is allowed near my feet. She can stand on them and will lightly peck at them all over. And usually allows the John Denvers to be near. Everyone else she runs off. I'm her top Lady it seems.

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8 Responses to Presenting the Girls, 2011

  1. Stacy says:

    I was just saying the same thing about my RIR. I’ve heard that too, but Lucy is the nicest chicken of the bunch and has been the least mean one to the new chicks of them all. Those Americanas though…I don’t know. Penny’s still chasing my little ones around. We’ll see…

  2. Inder says:

    Love is having hen-pecked feet. 🙂 Glad to hear that your hen drama has subsided, and everyone is living together in harmony now … or at least, without bloodshed. They are gorgeous!!!

  3. Green Bean says:

    Gesh, your Rock really took a beating! Good riddance, Thirsty Boots! Love reading about other people’s chickens and seeing the glamorous photos.

  4. Stacy- yep the easter eggers are a mean bunch. grumpy chicks. Oh, and glad you new baby is laying!
    Inder- Thanks! Aspen def. looooves me then. She practically swoons when I come out and nearly purrs when I carry her around.
    Green Bean- seriously huh? It was nasty, nasty, nasty. I can’t believe she didn’t die. I was running around with a bleeding beat up chicken trying to explain to our 3 yr old what was going on and not freak her out. It was yuck. Then smearing the no peck stuff all over her head once she healed up some b/c anytime anyone even bumped her she’d bleed and the pecking would start. Ugh! She was so sweet before that….now she is standoffish, skittish and a loner. Don’t blame her.

  5. Jim Poppy Self says:

    I love your chicken stories, even when they are not even stories! Your hens are beautiful and beautifully photographed. Maybe there’s a job in there. Poppy

  6. Memaw Elise says:

    Loved this entry, Meg. Your chickens are so fortunate to have you! I just love how you write about them. I realize I didn’t even meet them personally when I was there. Next time.

  7. Shae says:

    I love meeting your chickens up close, Meg. Isn’t it nice to have even one of them that loves you? I am almost always “It” in the game of tag I play with my pigeons. They are two peas in a pod and definitely recognize me as a “not-pea.” With my single pij, Luna, I was her world. That pic of the Annies is awesome — well, no, they’re all great. 🙂

  8. Pingback: October Mid-Month Meanderings III | Grow & Resist

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