Thursday, 18 June 2009

Tennessee's Most Spoiled Chickens

Last year (2008) was the beginning of our effort to populate our "farm" with some barn yard animals. Our (my) thought was that we have 11 1/2 acres of beautiful, Middle Tennessee land that we need to do something with, other than just keep it mowed and look at it. Of course we have enjoyed watching the wildlife as it passes through and there has been a fair share of that to enjoy.

Keep in mind that approximately 2 acres of our property is water. What my husband and I call a "our lake" and others refer to as "the pond" (See the photo on the right of the blog). It is what actually sold us on buying the property 7 years ago. By definition, it is a lake because it is fed by several springs and a pond is technically fed only by run-off. At least that's how my handyman explained it to me. We have enjoyed many hours of fishing from it and many meals provided by it. My handyman says it's his "fish farm"!

And, about an acre of it is located across the creek and near the interstate, on a rocky slope. So we don't even mow that part and hardly ever go over there, except in the Fall when there isn't much undergrowth to contend with. It's really kinda cool and gives a whole different perspective on the overall look of the place.

So, back to 2008, when we (I) decided to start with chickens, we investigated chicken coops and building plans and opted to build our own. We built the cute little brown log coop that can be seen at the end of my previous post, built the pen in front and set up to locate some potential residents.

After checking around we found a young lady who raises chickens for 4H. She was recommended to us by the man who owns the Farm Depot in our community. So in late September/October I called her up and told her what we wanted. She named her price, gave us directions to her house and we were off - dog kennel in hand, or should I say in vehicle, to put them in. I negotiated for 5 young hens that she said were all born in April or May. She told me that 3 were already laying, with the last 2 on course to start in about a month. I'm sure she and her mother laughed about the whole experience after we left.

Long story short - yeah, I guess it's a little late for that! Allow me to introduce the girls we purchased in 2008:

This is Barbara. She is usually a pretty sweet girl and will let me pick her up and pet her most days. This picture was taken on June 17th. She is a little over a year old.
This is what she looked like when we first brought her home:Notice the difference in her comb and wattles (the red things on her head and face). She has really matured into a beautiful bird. I was told when I bought her that she was a Barred Plymouth Rock. I have a great suspicion that she is a mix. But, I don't care. She lays beautiful brown, delicious eggs and that's what I wanted her for.

This is Goldie. Named because of the golden feathers around her neck. She is a black sex-link. She is also usually sweet and will let me pick her up and pet her. She lays brown eggs too.

This is one of the "twins". I think this is "Regular". Her "twins" name is "Extra Crispy". I'd show her picture too, but they look just alike. My handyman gave them their names. I call them Reggie and Crispy. This one has some scaring on her head that I haven't been able to figure out. I don't know if she has gotten her head stuck in the fence at some point or if the other chickens have picked on her. I have a feeling she got her head stuck and then pulled it out because she has sort of a ring around her whole head. She and her twin are also black sex-links.And this fat chic is Buffy. She is at least part Buff Orpington. She is the B____h of the group. She has always been a little "off". My handyman says she is a bit psychotic! I tend to agree.

The first picture is what she looked like when we first brought her home. Sweet and cute and shy.
This is what she looks like now. She is fat and sassy and b---tchy and looks like an old fashioned lady with a bunch of petticoats on when she runs. She is also the one who is terrorizing my new babies. I'm gonna give her a little while to settle down, but if she continues to give them a hard time, she may become dinner!
That's the 5 one year olds. I'll introduce you to the new babies next time. They are a little harder to get pictures of.


Catherine said...

I just love your chickens. They are so beautiful! My neighbor had a rooster that used to fly at our faces and there was also a large gray goose who to a 7 year old looked like a B-24 when he flapped his wings chasing us. Yikes!

Marilyn said...

What beauties! I bet the rule the roost. I know you are having a ball with the girls. Enjoy.

Gina E. said...

I'm trying to drag my hubby away from the t.v. to come and look at your chickens! I told him about your blog and he asked what kind of hens you have. I said "Oh you will just have to come and look" but so far he's glue to the screen...I'll just have to add your blog to my favorites and show him later! There are photos of our bantams on my blog, but you would have to scroll back some to find them.