On most days, you'll be welcomed into our backyard by our flock of hens. These ladies are a constant source of entertainment, and conveniently, eggs. We started our journey into chicken ownership two years ago and have learned a LOT since then about how to meet this flock's needs. I'll share what works for us in future posts, but today I thought you might want to "meet" the girls.

We have a group of three hens that we call the old ladies, as bthey became part of the family in 2016.

Ellie

IMG_3125

Ellie is the chick I chose to be "my chicken", and she's super fun to hang out with. I might be biased, possibly... We handled her A LOT as a baby so she is really docile and is patient about being carted around.

Phil

IMG_3122

Phil is one of our daughter's picks, and she's really adventurous and loves to find bugs in the garden. Last year we did a bunch of yard work with the tractor and she was always the first to come running when the hubs started the tractor, since she knew he was going to dig up something for them.

Dan

IMG_3129

Dan seems to intimidate people with her golden eye, but she's really a sweet girl. On the evenings we don't get the ladies tucked in before it gets dark, she's always the most cuddly when I take her into the coop. Of course, she also was the only uncooperative one when it came to taking pictures and prefered to hide in a corner instead of play in the grass.

We started out our first year of chickens with six chicks, but one turned out to be a rooster and had to be rehomed. He now lives on a nearby farm and likes to sleep on the back of the family horse! We unfortunately lost the two other hens, one disappeared while we were on vacation and the other decided to explore the neighbor's yard (they have a dog, it didn't turn out well). To better protect the ladies, we now have a fully enclosed coop and run and the girls only get to free range during certain times. I'm not sure they love it but it keeps them safe.

Last year we added four chicks to the flock, and it's been a real learning experience on how to integrate the two groups. Even today they still break into their separate social groups, but I've noticed that they mingle a little more each week.

Dandelion

IMG_3117

Dandelion is not the easiest chicken to catch, but when you do, she is so cuddly! Once she even fell asleep while I was holding her, which was really cute.

Pebblez

IMG_3102

Pebblez (with a z, courtesy of the kids), is turning out to be a really cool chicken. She is constantly talking to us, and this year became quite inquisitive. She is always the first one to come say hi when we go outside and hangs out with us when we are working in the yard.

Journey

IMG_3111

Journey is our easter egger, and lays the most precious blue eggs. She's a bit aprehensive of us still, but lets her guard down when we have food. Her cute fluffy cheeks are super adorable, the husband calls her "Chicken Hawk" after the warner brothers cartoons.

Essie

IMG_3109

Miss Essie is a breed of chicken I'd not heard of until we met her, she's a Turken. Bred to look like a turkey, she has a featherless neck and fluffy feathers in the front. I wasn't sure about bringing her into the flock, as I was worried that the other ladies would pick on her because of her bare neck. Of course, it wasn't ever a problem so I was worried for nothing. She's the sweetest chicken, always watching out for the other ladies. She had a bit of a broody spell this year, but I think we've gotten her past it and now she enjoys going outside and digging for bugs with the other girls.

I hope you enjoyed meeting the hens, now that warm weather is here you'll see a lot more of these ladies!