Italians, Speckled, Buffed, & More
We got new chickens. We had lost most of our chickens to predators – mostly dogs (whether strays or the neighbors’, we don’t know). That was almost 4 months ago. Through Freecycle, we met D. who was downsizing her flock for several reasons, including the latest forest fires threatening homes in northern NM. If pushed to evacuate, she would not be able to take all of them. So, over the course of two trips, we brought these ladies and a few more home (thanks D.!). I don’t have them all pictured here.
They all came with names, but I don’t remember all of them. The smallest of the flock are these two Italian ladies. They are named after two lady characters on the TV show The Sopranos. I believe the breed is Buttercups, so named for the comb on their heads. It looks like a little hat to me (instead of a mohawk) but I guess it could also resemble a buttercup flower. They are almost always hanging out together. They especially love rooting through the underbrush of the choke cherries and wild plums. They are just a little bigger than our roosters.
One gives us a good size white egg every other day and the other likes to hide her eggs. We recently found a stash under the front porch! Sometimes she lays in the hen house and her eggs are about 3/4 the size of her sister’s.
Hermione is a gregarious bird, sometimes allowing me to pet her. She is one of the prettiest hens I have ever seen. I remembered her name easily as my great grandmother was also named Hermione (french pronunciation). I believe she is a speckled Sussex. She is a good layer and people friendly. We also now have some fluffy footed chickens – yep, feathers on their feet. It’s suppose to keep their feet warm in cold weather. We’ll see if they are out and about more in the winter over the other chickens. I think they are Cochin chickens.
We now have 2 barred Plymouth Rock hens, and then one bred, hatched, and raised here on the farm hen that looks remarkably like a barred Plymouth rock. One of the new ladies is very gregarious, always chuckling to herself, etc. She also calls down the alarm daily, for no apparent reason. Our local barred hen, aka Speckled Hen, is the capable of getting into the freezer room and eating the dry catfood. She survived the dog attack earlier this year.
I think two of the ladies are Rhode Island reds and one is a Buff Orpington (known as Buffy the vampire slayer!). We still have one Araucana lady (hooray for green eggs!) and our two little Cornish Gamecocks, Mr. Peach & Mr. Berry. Mr. Peach is another farm chicken, bred and hatched here. He is a mix between a Cornish Gamehen and a local Abiquiu white rooster.
I’m sure I forgot a few ladies, bat as they can’t read, I don’t they will be lining up to pluck my eyes from my head. Not today anyway.