Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

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HenPen
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Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

Post by HenPen »

Our chooks came home the last weekend in April and have been entertaining us, one way or the other, ever since.

My daughter chose two:
tiny Cupid the Rhode Rock (named for the tiny black hearts on her chest), who is very small and slight but bold, nosy, friendly and greedy
Then
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and now
Image

and
Wiggy the Skyline
then
Image

and now
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My husband wanted a barred rock but they didn't have any left so we got Broody Miranda, a CouCou Maran
then
Image

and now
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I was adamant that I wanted an Amber (we called her Amber, in an astonishing display of originality). Amber looks very angelic, but looks can be deceptive. Dreadful pecker and a madam but a character.
then
Image

and now
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My son's hen is Ginger, the adventurous Goldline
then
Image

and now
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I was very unsure about Wiggy when I saw how flighty the Skylines were, and bitterly regretted getting her for a couple of weeks because she was very much bottom of the pecking order and was constantly left out. It broke my heart. But she slowly wriggled her way into the gang - always the hanger-on, but a genuine member of the flock. I am so glad that nobody listened to my qualms because she is everyone's favourite. A bit nervy, but she loves human company and is totally bonkers. She was the last to lay, but she lays the most beautiful blue eggs.

The eggs started turning up the first full day we had them - Cupid lay a weeny egg, the next day we had two as Ginger joined in. Then Miranda and her gorgeous deep brown speckledy eggs. And then Amber, who just didn't get the hang of it and we had all sorts. We are fairly sure it was her who gave us this in the first few weeks (look how tiny all the other eggs are):
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And it wasn't just huge. My hubby insisted on videoing the cracking of the egg, sure it would be a triple yolker - but it was much stranger than that...

Image

Excuse hubby's laugh, he says it is usually far more manly than that!! )w(

We have had plenty of softies, shell-less eggs, double yolkers, and a few days ago I was astonished by this:
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Honestly! Can you see the bum print?! I was once told (and I know this is up for debate) that eggs come out slightly soft and harden as they hit the air. Well between the fact that our egg-within-an-egg felt leathery and then went hard, and the fact that this one was slightly flattened and has a rather clear imprint of a bum on it, I am firmly of the opinion that this is true!

I reckon Miranda, who was broody when this egg was laid (it is either an Amber or a Cupid egg) probably sat on top of whoever it was at the crucial moment.

I have been so chuffed to find this forum, it is wonderful to find likeminded people who are so wise in Chicken Lore! )b(
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Linda S
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

Post by Linda S »

Its lovely to see how your gorgeous girls have grown HenPen, our Francine looks like she will have an hairdo like Wiggys :-D

That was weird in the egg wasnt it, they like to suprise us these girls dont they )t' Lindaxx
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sandy
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

Post by sandy »

OMG what a surprise when the egg was cracked(you are right very unmanly laughter) . Love love love your photos, very clever with the befores and afters )t' I look after an Amber Star and she isn't a cat cat loves a cuddle. I am totally in love with Wiggy and look forward to reading and seeing a lot more of your new little family
The Pink Ladies..Audrey,Merle-Oberon Cyd-Charisse,Ingrid-Bergman,Georgia,Madeleline
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Sunny Clucker was ere July 12-21 2012
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HenPen
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

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Linda S wrote: our Francine looks like she will have an hairdo like Wiggys :-D
Lindaxx

Lucky Francine - it's terribly fashionable!
Wiggy's comb is so floppy it ends up in the water when she drinks - I was quite concerned about the head-shaking until I realised.

And thank you Sandy, we are in love with her too.
She gave me a bit of a turn today. Miranda's broodiness was cured by hubby spending two days with the chooks, sawing and hammering to create a more sturdy roof for their run. It must have taken Miranda's mind right off it.

Wiggy has always been a hen of extremes, the fastest of the girls, the squawkiest, most panicky, most likely to win the hundred mile dash to anyone who might be carrying food. But she is also the chicken most likely to have a nap - I guess she wears herself out with all the adrenaline! So she will settle down next to you on a bench and doze. She spreads right out because... well... she's a big girl as you can see:
Image

Today I went out and accidentally disturbed Wiggy in the nest box. She hopped out and under her were two eggs, one of which was blue. I heaved a sigh of relief that Miranda still hadn't returned to being broody after the weekend, put the eggs in the basket and settled down to some poo collecting (the glamorous part of chicken keeping +f+ ). I finished up and was about to go inside, when I realised Wiggy was nowhere to be seen. She had gone back into the nest box, where she was spreading herself right out.
"Oh no, she's broody now", I thought.
But it turns out she was just enjoying a nice lie-down!

She certainly isn't the brains of the outfit (that is Ginger by quite a long way), but she is so entertaining.

I bought an egg skelter at the weekend, thought I'd get turquoise to tone with Wiggy's pale aqua eggs
Image
No pretty, freckly Miranda eggs on there yet. Hopefully she'll be laying again soon.
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Bridgets Mum
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

Post by Bridgets Mum »

One very impressive skelter!
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Chookaholic
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

Post by Chookaholic »

Hiya henpen!

what fab pics you can really see the change in your girls , your Husbands laugh sounds like the noise my Tikka makes when i take mealworms out haha {rofwl} (she gets rather eggsited too)

we have a had a couple of double yolkers but never an egg in an egg...very strange!

Cant wait for the next installment :-D :-D
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

Post by Kuikentje »

Well I never!
Life's too short to quarrel
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HenPen
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

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Chookaholic wrote:what fab pics you can really see the change in your girls , your Husbands laugh sounds like the noise my Tikka makes when i take mealworms out haha {rofwl} (she gets rather eggsited too)

{rofwl} {rofwl} {rofwl}
So funny! But hubby says :b(
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HenPen
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

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Sometimes it seems we have nothing but bother with the girls. Well, Miranda mostly.
So now she has decided to stop brooding and start moulting. Seems very young, but frankly this is all par for the course with Miranda, I mean why not make life interesting? We have had gaping too, which made me a bit panicky about gapeworm. But I notice she does it occasionally then not for days. I gather sometimes they are just doing it to rearrange food in their crops. She is eating a lot - perhaps she is bolting it. I am keeping an eye on things.

Funny thing is that in all other respects our Miranda is the most unassuming of girls. Yes, she is top hen but she rarely causes trouble, she likes a quiet life. But perhaps she is a low key attention seeker!

Meanwhile I am fighting two other battles - the Battle of The Rabbits and The Battle of Bedtime.

The rabbits are chewing through my Omlet netting - for some reason the grass outside the netting is just not as yummy as the grass inside. Luckily the girls (so far) seem happy within the netting and haven't tried getting through the holes, but I can't take any risks, so my netting is now inexpertly patched and our latest attempt to get the rabbits to leave it alone is to spray all round the bottom of the netting with Bitrex-based anti peck stuff. Have had less interest since then, so >fi< .

The bedtime thing has been going on since we returned from our two weeks away in August. I had asked our pet sitters to ensure the girls were all away at night (particularly as Cupid is sometimes left out by the automatic door - she is almost always last up) but I don't think they did, and in the hot weather I think some of the girls decided roosting on top of the coop was far nicer than being inside.

So we returned to find they had got into a bad habit. Every night, Ginger and Wiggy cosy up in the coop. Wiggy, bless her, can hardly wait to go to bed - practically dancing on the spot, not wanting to be first. Meanwhile Cupid, Amber and Miranda had taken to huddling together on the coop roof and had to be put to bed, protesting gently. After a few nights of this I thought perhaps I should consider red mite. Cue late night visits with a white cloth to check under the perches (not appreciated by our dozing chickens), and although I found nothing, this was followed by a massive cleanout, scrub and DE operation.

Finally I have resorted to sitting with them as the sun sets and after a few nights and a bit of redirection, this seems to be improving things and is rather restful. Tonight I may take a glass of wine with me.

Miranda the Tatty
Image

Curious Ginger with food all round her mouth
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sandy
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

Post by sandy »

I love your pics but my fav is still the amazing Wiggy )t' Like the idea of tucking up the girls with a glass of wine, dont forget they do like grapes {rofwl}
The Pink Ladies..Audrey,Merle-Oberon Cyd-Charisse,Ingrid-Bergman,Georgia,Madeleline
The Peds…Suranne,Jennifer,Nancy,
Vorky ,Blueped,Ginger,Ninger &Linky

Sunny Clucker was ere July 12-21 2012
Sunny Clucker was ere July 6 2016 to Sept 9th 2017
Sunny Clucker is here , rehomed Aug 18th 2018/
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Kuikentje
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

Post by Kuikentje »

Not difficult to find an excuse to sit outside watching the hens, with a glass of wine. What happens in winter if they are still refusing to go in? Cocoa?
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HenPen
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

Post by HenPen »

Kuikentje wrote:Not difficult to find an excuse to sit outside watching the hens, with a glass of wine. What happens in winter if they are still refusing to go in? Cocoa?


Mulled wine?! No, actually, clever son managed to reset the door closer so it closes half an hour after sunset. Problem solved! (The rabbits are winning the other battle though }hairout{ )

I reckon Cupid stays up late so she can be sure Amber is settled and so avoid confrontation. Poor Cupid has a hard time if it.

Image.
Oooh butter wouldn't melt


Hmmm, Amber. Boy she really had us fooled when we first got her.

The day we picked the girls up, the woman who helped us choose them noticed a teeny weeny scab on Amber's earlobe. She thought it would be ok and told us about anti peck etc in case it wasn't. We were then told to take the chooks home and put them straight in the coop for the night (it was about 5.30).

Well the next day little Amber was like something from a horror film, blood all down one side where her earlobe had been pecked and bled. Panic stations: she was sorted out, a hospital wing was knocked up and she was the centre of attention for quite some time. At this stage I was convinced Poor Amber was a victim. Looking back, I now realise it was blooming lucky, actually, that it was Amber with the wound, rather than one of the others, because they are all pretty placid while Amber would probably have caused serious damage... or worse. Honestly, she tried to strip a vein out of the back of my hand the other day. She has a mean streak - but particularly when it comes to Cupid.

Cupid has a bald patch on her head, I am sure it is Amber's fault. Cupid won't eat next to Amber, because Amber will peck peck peck at the food then PECK at Cupid, sometimes grabbing and holding her comb. Amber chooses to try to eat next to Cupid, so dinner time is a bit of a do-se-do.

Fortunately Cupid has become a real Del Boy when it comes to duckin' and divin'. Still, yesterday I had to intervene and put Amber in the run, because she wouldn't let Cupid dust bathe - she actually ran about 10 ft from where she had been busy pecking just to have a go at poor Cupid. You should have seen her pacing up and down the other side of the wire, watching Cupid through narrowed eyes and running her beak along the mesh like a prisoner running his tin mug along the cell bars! Talk about intimidation, although Cupid was enjoying herself too much to notice.

Now the bedtime thing has been solved, another Amber/Cupid problem has just arisen. For the past five days, I keep finding Cupid's eggs on the floor of the coop, often laying in poop }hairout{ , which is nice and soft for it to land on, but... still... bleurgh. I peeked yesterday and the previous night and Amber is sleeping perched on the edge of the nest box (which explains the poo in there too, grrrrr). I think Cupid, who is an early layer, would rather lay sitting on the perch than risk the wrath of Amber )de: . I hope it is just a phase. Maybe I should stick my hand in and move Amber tonight.
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sandy
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

Post by sandy »

Thank goodness Amber was okay after her ordeal. They are little madams when it comes to bedtime, they like to sleep in the most awkward places
The Pink Ladies..Audrey,Merle-Oberon Cyd-Charisse,Ingrid-Bergman,Georgia,Madeleline
The Peds…Suranne,Jennifer,Nancy,
Vorky ,Blueped,Ginger,Ninger &Linky

Sunny Clucker was ere July 12-21 2012
Sunny Clucker was ere July 6 2016 to Sept 9th 2017
Sunny Clucker is here , rehomed Aug 18th 2018/
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HenPen
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

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We were trying find a way to keep the run dry and cosy in the winter and found some leftover plexiglass-type-stuff at work, so yesterday we screwed that to the end of the run that gets the worst of the weather (they already have a part-boarded section at the other end as well). It's good because it is still nice and bright in there, and the girlies can see out, but it stops the rain soaking them and prevents the strong winds that whoosh across the garden from blowing them about. The stuff is about 3ft high, so it is still airy in the run.

Well I sometimes say Wiggy is a bit thick but she was the first to notice it. They were out FR-ing and I was poo picking and cleaning the coop and kept thinking, "what's that weird tapping noise?" Yup, it was a very perplexed Wiggy, who couldn't work out what the new addition was, obviously trying to attract my attention in morse code! Hidden depths...
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Re: Henpen's hens and Eggstremely odd eggs

Post by Chookaholic »

HenPen I just love your diary... makes me smile and is like well written soap opera :-D

Mildred was my bully and would do the same as Amber and run across the garden just to pick on her , Dandelion soon learned to stick by Mum as Mildred wouldnt get near her.
It is horrible to watch and we feel really bad for the victim :?

I was thinking would bamboo fencing (about a foot high) placed outside your omlet netting stop the bunnies?

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