Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Our Feathered Friends

As many of you know, Grady & I have 6 chickens. We definitely did not intend to be chicken farmers when we moved into our house 3 ½ years ago! The existing coop behind the garage was used for storing firewood and tools from the previous owner. We would joke here and there about having chickens and were never serious about it. Until our friends literally brought us one off the street! Once we started, we started to enjoy it and got more! All of our chickens are egg laying hens and are way too told to butcher, so they have become the best and most profitable pets ever!! We love them all and I'm sure a few of my blog posts will include a story here and there :) So, for your viewing pleasure, here are our chickens and a small tidbit about each one:

This is Marshmallow. We got her in August 2010 from some friends that found her while having a picnic @ Bothell Landing.  She was a Leghorn and laid white eggs. She was our favorite and most consistent layer. She even laid some twin yokes on occasion! And she was the only chicken that would come when you called her and eat right out of your hand. Unfortunately, I found her in the coop dead winter of 2011 (Grossest thing ever, btw). We assumed it was because of old age.

This is Rhodie, named after her breed (Rhode Island Red). She lays big brown eggs. We got her a couple of weeks after Marsh. She was given to us by my best friend's parents who had over a dozen chickens. She happened to be the runt in that group and they were more than willing to give her to us. Once we brought her home, Marshmallow definitely won the pecking order and they soon became the best of friends.

This is Piper (Black &Orange) and Hattie (White & Beige).  They, along with Maddy all came from Grady's cousin Martin who was going up to school @ Western. It's almost impossible to not talk about these two together! They are each other's best buds and love to get into all types of mischief. Their favorite things to do are to try to sneak into the front yard or the neighbor's yard when we're not watching (It's almost like they know!). When we do see them wandering away, all we have to do is tell them to go back and they find another wonderful place in our yard to scratch and poop. Hattie is @ the bottom of the order with Piper slightly in front of her. They are Ameraucanas and they lay small green eggs!

This is Maddy. She is by far the funniest chicken out of the bunch! She is the most passive, but surprisingly she's not @ the bottom of the pecking order. She loves to be around the other chickens and when she is by herself, she will run across the yard just to be where the other ones are at. A friend started calling her the "Euro Chicken" because of the feathers on her legs. The name has stuck ever since! She is a Brahma and although she's the biggest, she lays the smallest, light brown eggs of them all.

This is Feisty. We got her from a family in our church, the Ronks, in Feb 2012. She definitely lives up to her name! She's a beautiful New Hampshire (almost identical to Rhodie) and lays large, dark brown eggs. She is the only chicken that isn't afraid of us getting close. She is definitely the escape artist out of the bunch! If any of the chickens escape, Feisty is almost always the leader with a few followers behind her.

This is Ashlea. Grady found her on his way home from work at the Ash Way Park & Ride in March 2012. He found her running around in the parking lot and since we were looking for a 6th hen at the time, he chased her around and swooped her up! He didn’t have anything to put her in, but found a cop nearby who gave him a paper bag. Grady brought her on the bus and headed straight to the back!! Luckily, only a couple people were there. He let her head out of the bag on the trip home and apparently she did great. Grady then walked about 1.5mi to where I was working at the time and found a box in an alley on the way. Definitely the craziest chicken story ever!! She is definitely the dumbest of the 6 and at the bottom of the pecking order. Like our very first chicken, she was dumped in a public place and looked pretty freaked out until we brought her home. And understandably so! We kept Ashlea in the pet taxi in our basement overnight so that she could eat and drink uninterrupted and not get pecked at. She also had some tail feathers missing so wanted to give her her own space to chill out before putting her in the coop to face the others. She has adjusted really well and lays light brown eggs just like Maddy.

So, there you have it! Now that you know who our chickens are, the stories will hopefully be easier to follow and funnier as you picture them doing what they do best... Being chickens :) 

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