At the present time, our backyard flock consists of 23 chickens (2 of which are roosters), and 5 ducks (all drakes). We have 3 1/2 coops and a duck house. I say 3 1/2 because the coop in which we keep our Silkie bantams is a condo compared to the other henhouses. Within each structure beats the glorious hearts of a spectacular cast of characters.
In Coop #1, you’ll find our most mature hens, The Ladies of Orpington. Buff orpingtons to be exact. Don’t let their regal title mislead you. There is nothing stuffy about Charlotte, Addie, Emaline, Daisy, Violet and Peaches. These seniors know how to make the most out of life… staring down spiders, flirting with their own reflections, laying an egg whenever the sensation strikes. Sometimes, they even yodel at the top of their lungs. This happened just the other day after the rooster warned, “HAWK FLYING IN!”. Somehow the girls misheard this as, “GRAB YOUR LEDERHOSEN!” and a lively keg party ensued.
Coop #2 is the home of our quietest hens. Maybe it’s because they’re situated between two lively henhouses, but these gals keep their noses clean, preferring to range close to home and hitting the roost early. What most people don’t know, is that they host a poker party every Thursday night and serve frozen pea canapés with mint infused mudslides. They are exceptional singers, especially Dolly Parton and Kellie Pickler, our blue orpingtons. Maisy, our golden wyandotte is pitch-perfect on the kazoo. Sadly, we lost Maisy’s partner on the spoons earlier this year, our funny and sweet silver Wyandotte, Dottie. She was fine one day and gone the next. We miss her greatly.
All the major ruckus and adventure seems to begin in Coop #3, where our resident celebrity, Happy lives. Sharing her digs is Happy’s best friend, Sawyer Evangeline. Happy is a blue splash marans and Sawyer is a wheaten marans. The remaining flock members include Waffles and Betty (both a RIR & Orpington cross), Hattie (Marans and Orpington cross), and our Old English Red Pyle bantam rooster, Timothy. If you want to know more about what goes in with this crew, you’ll need to read my book, Happy’s Journal. It’s available at Amazon.com, or you can put a colander on your head and go back and read all of the posts on this blog. I’ll tell you this much… word is that the Happy Chicken Brewing Company has a fresh batch of moonshine dripping from the still as we speak. Yee-haw!!
What about those bantams? The cutest fluffs of feathers you’ll ever see. Henrietta, Layla, Madea, Danica, Grainne, Pippa and Tenley. I’d carry them around all day with me if I could. They are all trained in kung fu and like to practice their high kicks in front of the ducks.
Speaking of ducks – we have five of them, all male. It wasn’t planned that way. In fact, if we were dealt this hand at Coop #2’s poker table, we’d be sitting pretty. As with some of the chicks, we weren’t very good at guessing the gender of our ducklings. This is why Leisl and Merida – both very manly drakes, have names that reflect their softer sides. They are joined by Frank (Sir Francis Drake), Jameson, and Eustace. The ducks, as well as the chickens, entertain us daily. They are the best stress relievers!!
Rounding out our fleet, is the Admiral, our buff orpington rooster, Bo. He is everything a rooster should be and more. By more, I mean that he is excellent with numbers and likes to sleep in the nude. Hey – to each their own. 😉
Check out our gallery to see more pictures!