Some Days Chickens, Some Days Feathers

( Ameraucana chicken )

Oh great! You’re here! I’ve been waiting for you! I’m Gladys, ( named after Deb’s Granny ) one of the “younger chicks” at The Little Red Hen House. My little flock and I are getting along fine with the older gals ” The Cottage Hens” but those two rogue roosters that were here for a spell had everyone’s tail feathers in a bunch! Come on in for a roost and we’ll tell you all about it!

Who us? Wha’d we do wrong? All we ever wanted was to make sure everyone in the neighborhood got up bright and early ( no later than 4:45 am ) and that there would be plenty more just like us come spring time! What’s so bad about that? We kept a careful eye on the ladies and the run and Rodeo made sure he crowed every time he heard… a pin drop!

Rodeo and

Rudy Roo ( Ameraucana )

If Rudy and Rodeo were still here that’s exactly what they would say! Oh, I’m sorry, please allow me to introduce myself. I’m Lacy Lou the head hen of this backyard egg laying operation and I’m here to tell you I didn’t want them here from the start. Oh, it started innocently enough; Mother hen brought home a batch of ” spring chicks” back in April and two of the girls turned out to be boys. I hear that happens fairly often to backyard chicken keepers who order from hatcheries or their local feed store. Luck of the draw I guess, depending on how you’re lookin’ at things.

( Golden Lace Wyandotte )

In the beginning it was nice to have them around and Mother hen was over the moon with happiness that she was going to get to watch roosters grow up. I guess I can’t say as I blame her… They do have a certain charm and as the boys grew so did there long colorful feathers. Before too long they were strutting their stuff from one end of the run to the other and taking any girl they chose out for a test drive when ever the spirit moved them! No manners at all I tell you!

 ( Ameraucana Hazel  )

Dear Lacy, let an old girl get a word in edgewise. Howdy ya’ll, I’m Hazel. Now I don’t fancy myself a beauty queen, in fact, I’ve always thought of myself to be more of an earthy chick, but those boys just wouldn’t leave Lacy Lou or I alone for one cotton pickin’ minute! It finally got so bad that when Lacy or I tried to leave the hen house one of the boys would chase us back in. This went on for two weeks or more. Mother hen had to bring food and water every day, special, just for us. To pass the time while we were in solitary confinement we talked about the good old days when we had the run of the place. Why, we could eat and drink what ever we wanted and we could take as long as we liked in the dust bath.

We both agreed, we didn’t mind the new girls movin’ in…We figured we’d need them around to distract the boys, especially if Mother hen never came to her senses and decided to keep them around for good! Oh, you tell the rest Lacy Lou; it’s your favorite part of the story…

Here’s where things get real juicy girls. One day we heard some cluckin’ at the feeder. Something about Mother hen speaking to the boys, and tellin’ them she loved them and she would miss them, but that it was time for them to go to THE FARM… She said, they were just too bossy and noisy to stay with the girls, and then she thanked them for watching over us. Ha! I’ll say!

Liza ( Ameraucana )

Gladys and Lucy

Oh, we got so excited!!! We fluffed and preened and prayed that it was true! Our prayers were answered that very night! Not long after we turned in, we heard noises in the dark and footsteps coming towards the house. Suddenly the door swung open and a bright light danced around us until it landed! First on Rodeo, then Rudy Roo. We could here voices outside in the run then someone reached in and gently removed both boys from the hen house and in a flash the light vanished and the door closed.

We slept in the next morning and awoke to a calm, peaceful and QUIET little hen house.

Later that day, we heard the boys were back! Turns out they’d been to THE FARM alright. But only to be “prepared ” for a September Sunday Supper! I’ll be honest, I miss the fella’s sometimes, but I wouldn’t trade having harmony in the hen house again for a days worth of chicken scratch!  Right girls?

Like my mother used to say, ” Some days chickens, some days feathers!”

*A note from Mother Hen: Before Rudy and Rodeo arrived on the scene, I was a lightweight farmgirl, but the guys taught me a few things while they were here. Roosters have their place, just not in our backyard chicken keeping arrangement. The charm of their crow wore out pretty quickly and I wasn’t comfortable with how they were treating the girls either. The older girls were showing signs of stress. One of the boys was plucking Lacy’s feathers out! I just couldn’t let it go on… She was from my first flock ( 6 years ago ) and I want her to enjoy her ” golden years “. I looked into re-homing the fella’s and finally came to the conclusion that I’d rather know how their lives turned out than wonder so we got the name of a local ” slaughter house” from the feed store where we purchased them originally and made an appointment! They are in my freezer and I’m just waiting for a nice cool September day to roast them. I never dreamed I’d be eating my own chicken’s one day.

 Time to fess up! Do any of you Mother hens eat your own?

I hope you enjoyed this little tale from the coop! I still think the boys were pretty neat, and if I ever had enough space where I could keep them far enough out of earshot of the nearest neighbor and my sweet slumbering husband. I’d give it another try! Until then, The Little Red Hen House is for GIRLS ONLY!!!

Until our next shoreline visit!

Beach Blessings and Happy Hen Keeping farmgirls!

Love, Deb

PS. for a quick study about keeping backyard chickens visit My Pet Chicken.

Leave a comment 17 Comments

  1. Aria says:

    Beautiful birds and hen house. What kind of chicken is Gladys? I have one that looks almost exactly like her and have no idea what she is.

    Hi Aria, Gladys is an Ameraucana chicken. We have 7 of them and two Golden Lace Wyandotte’s.  Thanks for reading and enjoy your girls!

    Deb

  2. Julia says:

    I finally have my chickens! A Sexlink and RI Red. I have named them Peggy and Kevin. My friend Peggy told me whenever I get chickens she wanted one named after her, so I figured the other should be named after her husband, (he approved).

    Yay!!!Congrats Julia! Oh, you’ll love it!

    Deb

  3. Sabrena Orr says:

    Delightful! I agree ~ the boys have their place, but not in my hen house!

    EXACTLY!!!

  4. Shery says:

    Roosters are good for two things: baby chicks and on a plate. My coop is a ‘girls only’ club too. I’ve had many roosters in the past, but most are nuisances in one way or another. I like my hens to have feathers on their backs — and they enjoy lives without being violated!

    I feel the same way about bulls. They’re a neccessary evil in ranching. Imagine a 2000 pound rooster. I swear, they can break an anvil!!! :o)

     I’m with ya Shery! I admit, I had to get over my " infatuation" in order to be a rooster eatin’ farmgirl, but I’m glad I made it over the hump! :)

  5. Hi Debbie,
    I myself am struggling with the idea of getting rid of my roosters. I had one, Big Sam and beautiful black jersy giant, and he is a giant. he was such a gentleman and such a great protector over my flock but now he is getting too aggressive with my hens and they are really showing signs of wear and tear of their feathers from him. Then I had 7 chicks hatched out Easter Sunday and given to me from a friend, out of the seven are 2 roosters. these are little bantams and they are beautiful but very determined to bother my hens. The only problem is my hens are so much bigger than they are and they can not hang on, so they are pulling feathers as well. I hope to find a good home this week, if not then I may be having some fresh chicken in my freezer as well.
    As always enjoyed your post. Be Blessed.
    Ms. Scarlette

  6. Monica says:

    My 9 hens are well, I am better for having them. I think they bring my blood pressure down…love my gals

  7. Joan Price says:

    You put our story in words exactly – yupper George has to go!! We have 24 lovely ladies – just finished making a bigger/better ‘hen house’ so no big bad boys allowed. I say ‘we’ actually the ‘ladies’ are on my sons hobby farm but he lets me help with them – I live where we can’t have chickens – I know it’s crazy – one can up to 5 dogs – but no chickens. So I enjoy Bobbett, Lucy – must be a common name for the pretties, Georgette – oh just too many to think of right now. But once again ‘farm girl’ you have helped me to enjoy your life too. Happy Fall – y’all!

  8. kathy schild says:

    Hi Debbie –
    I really enjoyed this post. This summer I agreed to look after my friend’s farm for 2 weeks while they vacationed. After the first evening, I asked my hubbie to take care of the chickens while I attended the goats, llamas, etc. I could not bear to see all of the chicken/rooster behavior! It took me awhile just to understand why the hens had bare backs. Now, I am 48 years old and I am mature enough to understand that roosters are acting on the instincts that God gave them, but something in my mother’s heart did not want to see them acting on their instincts! After witnessing that scene, I resolved to have a hen only farmyard if the Lord blesses me with one in the future. Yes, indeed, this blog tells more about you than you know – and it’s all good. :) :) :)

  9. Dolly says:

    I love this story and the way you told it! Cute.

  10. drMolly says:

    If’n I had roosters they would be eaten. I have 6 hens: there’s Henny & Penny (2 white sex-links), Thelma & Louise (2 gold sex-links) and Katherine & Audrey-Hepburns, you know (2 lovely auracanas). This, too, is an all-girls club, just the way my girls like it, I’m sure. We don’t need baby chicks and when the girls need to be replaced I can get more where I got these ladies, so no roosters.

  11. Sue says:

    When I had chickens the gents all got names like "Stew" and "Dinner". We had Domineque chickens. They were beautiful birds, but the roosters earned the name of ninja chicken because they would sneak up behind you, jump at you and flog you with their wings. The only thing they were afraid of were aprons. I actually had one faint when I flipped my apron in his face. I thought I had killed him. So if I get the chance for chickens again its A Girls club for me.

     

  12. Ginger says:

    We got our first chicks this past spring, and yes we ended up with one Roo, his name is Piper, he’s a silkie, beautiful bird. So far he’s not causing too much trouble, the neighbors aren’t bothered, and the girls still have all their feathers. If this changes, we have a new home on a farm lined up for him.

  13. Nicki says:

    Hi Deb! I loved this post, and the photos too! After reading your post and the comments so far, I’m starting to feel more convinced that our rooster’s days are numbered. I was just getting used to having a sweet (more or less) flock of hens, when we were crazy enough to add a rooster –aka "Doodle" (dd’s name for him), aka Mr. _________ blanklety- blank ( what refer to him as), aka possible "Dinner." Since our coop is in the woods, we figured we’d need a rooster to protect the flock (plus maybe hatch out some Aracauna chicks someday – yeah, right). Well, ever since he’s been here, going down to the chicken yard just isn’t fun for me anymore! From the day we first brought him home (and btw, he sure is pretty), he’s been so dang bossy! Yeah, I know, he’s just "doing his job," but gee whiz! Ever since we got our first egg (2 weeks ago), and he started charging after me (to protect the nest, I guess?) it’s been even more of a challenge for me to want to hang out with the chickens. I miss our peaceful little girls club!

     

    Hi Nicki! Yep, those boys really stir things up in the hen house! You’ll be amazed at how the " mood " changes after he’s gone…. I love his name…. It’s a nickname in our household too!

  14. Jaxon says:

    Shiver me timbers, them’s some great information

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Oh my. I know what you, er the girls mean, about the roosters causing trouble in the hen house. My poor old hens have been to hell with the "accidential" roosters they have to live with. The first two my son bought as chicks from a Amishman who assured him they were hens. Well they weren’t but their names have stuck, Babs and Buffy. The next were all hatched by one of our hens. She so wanted to sit and being a dope from the burbs roosters hadn’t crossed my mind when I pictured baby chicks in the yard. Well 99% turned out to be roosters. That truly was hell for the hens. Plucked…oh plucked and some even bleeding from day to day. Four made the trip to Dinky’s auction house. I cried, I felt guilt and still do feel guilt months later. It wasn’t their fault they were born roosters and they weren’t doing anything a rooster wasn’t naturally suppose to do, but they had to go. I prayed they’d be adopted to homes for their crow and beauty and not their meat but around here they likely were all purchased for meat. They were beautiful boys. Their departure left me with a New Hampshire Red, the only chick I actually ordered as a rooster, at the time we didn’t know Babs and Buffy were boys. And we also have Funny Looking (one of the "female" chicks I ordered and Speckes, one of the Speckled Sussex female chicks I ordered). So five boys and about 30 girls and as long as I keep Babs & Buff and their girlfriends in one hen house and the rest in the second house…life is good and reasonably peaceful and very crowfull all day long. We have 15 acres so they have their bug hunt space during the day which I think really helps their ability to get along. It is a dusty, loud, fluttering life I hope I never have to give up. 15 acres in the dust or in the snow has turned out to be heaven for me.

  16. Download it says:

    It’s really cool and nice article . I enjoyed it fully.

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