Friday, August 5, 2011

Our little flock: An update

I have great news to share! As of a few days ago, all three of our hens are laying.  And by a happy stroke of luck, we managed to pick breeds that each lay a different color egg.  We now have light blue-green (Chica, and Ameraucana), white (Princess Lay-A, a Danish Brown Leghorn), and brown (Lucille, a New Hampshire Red).  Now that we know who is producing what, it's easier to keep track of things.

So far my money is on Chica for best producer.  Her eggs are just plain huge (2.2 oz), compared to Princess's (1.1 oz) and Lucille's early ones (1.4 oz). Yes, I actually weighed the eggs.  She also wins the prize for laying double-yolked eggs every single time so far. 

Now here's an even more amusing bit of information.  I hadn't mentioned it, but ever since Chica L. has been laying, she's changed from the freaky, fearful girl into the amorous girl.  I do believe she views both my husband and I as potential suitors.  Whereas she used to run away from us whenever we tried to pick her up or pet her, she now stops in her tracks, extends her shoulders out and squats.  When we start petting her down her back she raises her ladyquarters up in the air as if she wants to be mounted!  It's the craziest thing, and I have to admit that when I first figured it out I felt kind of icky.

At first she seemed to only do it with my husband, and wanted nothing to do with me still.  But now she will do it no matter who tries to reach for her.  It's quite a change from her usual fleeing response.  When we finish petting her she fluffs up her feathers, stands up and shakes, which I understand is how the rooster and hen mating ritual normally ends after, well, when business has been concluded.  Not knowing much at all about all of this chicken stuff I've spent a few minutes getting up to speed on the YouTube, where they've got video of every fowl detail, I kid you not.  Now that the other two are laying as well, they've both started exhibiting this flirty behavior too, which I can only conclude means that their tiny biological clocks are doing what nature intended to survive, although their chances of doing that with humans as suitors is probably not what was intended.

What's really hilarious is when I'm sitting in the chicken run, and petting Chica, and Princess jumps onboard and pecks Chica because she wants all of that pseudo-mating for herself.  They're downright competing for our affection, and it cracks me up.  Never a dull moment.


My Life Under the Bus said...

Oh my chicken romance ...who knew? I just caught the chicken fever myself and am fascinated by everything chicken so far I am thinking of getting 2 Australorps, 2 Sussex and 2 more of undetermined breeds .... taking note of your double layer up there!

kate mckinnon said...

"ladyquarters," you crack me up.

Sally Anderson said...

Ditto Kate. I just love reading about these chickens. You're a good storyteller!


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