I currently have 9 hens in my flock of chickens and each one of them has their own personality so I wanted to introduce them and provide a little bit of info about each one. I have four different breeds. The buff orpington and production reds came with the house I bought last summer and were already laying eggs when I moved in. I raised the black copper marans and easter eggers from 1 day old chicks from Baxter Barn.
- Buff Orpingtons: Orpingtons have a gentle personality and extremely fluffy butts and are commonly broody which makes them a good mother. They lay a light brown egg.
- Production Reds: A hybrid of Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire Red and sometimes Leghorn. They are not as gentle of a breed and are known for their high egg production. They lay darker shades of brown eggs.
- Black Copper Marans: They are a large feather legged bird that lays a dark chocolate brown colored egg.
- Easter Eggers: Some also call them Americanas, in various spellings. They are a smaller bird with puffy cheeks and a beard and come in a wide variety of colors and lay a blue, green or pink colored egg.
Queen Bailey is a fluffy buff orpington and is the boss lady but the nicest boss you’ll ever meet. She doesn’t pick on and chase others just for fun like Lucy. She will win any staring contest though and will give a little head bop to get her favorite treats to herself. She likes to sleep up high and look down on everyone provided she can jump high enough. (My buff orpington’s aren’t the highest of jumpers.) Her favorite hobby is kicking wood chips into the grass and not putting them back where she found them.
Buffy is my other Buff Orpington. When I had 3, it was always difficult to tell them all apart. The only way I can tell the 2 I have now apart is by their combs. Buffy’s comb has a twist at the back of it and the points are a little further apart. Orps are a large bird and have the fluffiest of butts. It’s hilarious to watch her run and shake that booty. Don’t let her size fool you. She’s the sweetest girl and doesn’t pick on anyone. Her favorite activity is searching for worms. She sleeps on the floor of the coop instead of up high in the nesting boxes or roost. She took a break from egg laying over the winter and is just starting to lay again.
Cinnamon is a production red that came with the purchase of my house. My mom named her Cinnamon because she was the darkest of the 3 reds. She appears to have been moved down to the bottom of the adult’s pecking order after a hard molt this winter. She frequently eats from the younger girls’ food dish to avoid conflict with the other girls. She is the most skittish of them all but is improving a little now that her molt is over and she has started laying again. She lays the smallest and darkest eggs and has been laying nearly every day since her molt. Her new feathers have some black lacing that does not appear on any of the others and her comb is the shortest so it’s easy to tell her apart from the others. Her favorite activity is searching for worms in the compost bin.
This is naked neck Lucy the bully, a production red. She is the meanest of them all though surprisingly not at the top of the pecking order but she wishes she was. She was the only one to pick on the new girls when they joined the flock and continues to chase and peck them every chance she gets. They go running the other way anytime she is near but now that the girls are laying they will sometimes do the squat and Lucy takes full advantage of them and will sit right on top of them. She has the biggest comb and the biggest voice. She gets very upset anytime someone is in her nesting box and doesn’t like to share. Her neck is missing feathers but I have not figured out if it’s her plucking them out or someone else. I hope one day she will welcome the new girls and not be such a meanie. If she doesn’t change her ways I may need to put her in chicken jail for a couple of days.
Sarah is another production red, named by my mom during her visit last summer. I’m not sure where she came up with the name but it seemed fitting. I call her “Silly Sarah” because she is a funny girl. She is the friendliest of my reds and rarely picks on the younger girls. She likes to be by my side and helps me when I’m working in the garden. She loves to pick at your shoes and your pants when you are standing still. She is a great layer and gave me eggs all through winter though she likes to take her time in the nesting box and sings after she lays her eggs. She lets me hold her and doesn’t make a fuss like the other reds.
Miss Molly Marans is a very mossy coppery black copper marans and looks nothing like her nearly all black sister. Some say she may even be an Olive egger (marans x blue egg layer) but she does in fact lay a dark brown egg. She is my little poser and beauty queen, the easiest of all my girls to photograph. She’s the adventurer/ranger of my youngsters, always being the first one to scope out new places to make sure it’s safe. Her favorite spot is sitting in the doorway of the coop to keep a lookout for trouble. When rats were getting into their house, she would sleep in front of the food dish instead of roosting with the others so the rats would have to go through her first. She is so brave.
This is Miss Mary Marans. She’s a black copper marans but has no copper to speak of. She had a little twist in her comb when she was younger but as she aged it straightened out. She used to have a few white wing feathers but they’ve grown out and she’s all black except for a little white dot on the back of her head. Her feathers are the softest chicken feathers I’ve ever felt and they shimmer a green hue in the sunlight. She was the first of my little ones to get her wattles. When she was younger her favorite resting spot was on my shoulder and loved to peck at my ears. Now she loves to eat my hair if it’s in reach. She’s usually the last one to the food dish but first to the hand fed treats.
Little Ali Bug is a less common colored Easter Egger breed. She seems to get picked on the most by Lucy, the bully. She’s a master escape artist and can run the fastest and jump and fly the highest. She likes to jump on the other girls when they least expect it. She loves attention and picking things up and running around with it just to get others to chase her. She’s the smallest of the 4 younger girls. She started laying her pretty blue eggs just a couple of days after Mary and Molly.
This is Ari, an Easter Egger, and is the baby of the bunch. She seemed to be the last to stop chirping and the last to lay an egg. She likes to cuddle up under a wing, not her own, when she sleeps. She was always the most difficult to pick up because she would just flap her wings so hard and it was hard to keep hold of her. She loves to fly and roost on the highest of places. She likes to eat grass and sometimes gets too preoccupied and next thing she knows her family is across the yard. She squawks, runs and flaps her wings until she catches up with them. She likes to jump on Mark and his camo jacket when ever he is around because she thinks he looks like a walking tree. Ari just laid her first egg this week and it is blue just like Ali’s.