Welcome chickens

After waiting for what seemed like a very long time, and a whole lot of preparation, the day finally came that we added these lovely ladies to our homestead! Neighbors from all over the mountain came, ready to help us get the coop off a trailer and tuck it safely under the barn.

My youngest son, Braden, was especially excited about chickens…and I think he spent the first three days after their arrival, sitting in front of their pen and watching them.

After the first few days getting used to us and their new surroundings, it was time to start letting them free range. And time for me to start learning all of their personalities and deep dive into caring for animals. These two hens are Maude and Greta. They are Sex Link hens, and so far, the best egg producers. No matter what – they’ve laid eggs every day!

I’ll admit that at first, I wasn’t too fond of these two. I thought they were mean and bossy and picking on the other hens.

Then I learned about pecking order and I noticed what was really going on. Maude (the one with her mouth open) she is bossy. But what she really does, it keep them all in line. She is the last to enter the coop at night, doing laps to make sure everyone is tucked neatly inside, squawking at the other hens if they are taking too long and poking her head inside and making sure everyone is in before she calls it a night. When hens are dawdling in the morning, it’s her that makes a fuss and calls them out. And it’s her who leads the way during free range time.

Greta is her shadow. Where Maude goes, Greta goes. Even when it comes time to lay. If Maude goes in a box to lay…Greta is in the box with her. Now I absolutely adore these two.

This is Muffin. The shyest of all the hens. However, Muffin loves to be pet, dirt baths and green bell peppers. She’s also always the last one out of the coop in the morning and gets yelled at quite a bit by Maude.

During free range time, Muffin is usually off by herself, rolling in a dirt pile or chasing butterflies. She is an Ameraucana hen, which makes her an “easter egger” as far as laying goes – and she lays beautiful light green eggs!

And then there is Tallulah. Oh man I love this chicken! Tallulah is fearless, curious and extremely friendly. She sticks her head in my pockets and sits on my feet when I kneel down to check their water, or just pet them and talk to them.

Her feathers are always a bit wild, and she has a really intense face! And for some reason, it just makes me laugh. Tallulah can of often be found chasing me through the pasture or hunting flies. She’s also an Ameraucana, and her eggs are a pale greenish/blue.

And that brings us to my lovely and sweet little Bantam hen, Bandit.

Bandit is quite small (and her eggs are seriously adorable) Bandit is also quite friendly, loves to cuddle and goes crazy for meal worms. She lets me pick her up and tuck her under my arm and walk around while I talk to her, and give her little pets to the head.

Before coming to our homestead, Bandit had a habit of running away for weeks at a time. But she seems really quite happy here, never strays too far from the coop, even when the other hens are checking out the garage or patio.

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