Red-laced Wyandotte Feathers

Chicken Glorious

Above are Henrietta’s feathers. She’s a Red-laced Wyandotte, and I didn’t realize how beautiful she was going to be until she grew up.

We brought her, Maple and Harriet home in the back of our bike cart, three pullets in a cardboard box. In the same trip, the cart was also loaded with 50 pounds of feed, a diaper bag, a satchel, a small child and some brown bags of oyster shell and scratch. (Our car broke, which makes the transition to bike more convenient. By convenient I mean compulsory.)

Harriet was a Cochin, a gentle breed which supposedly grows up to look like a large fluffy black basketball. She got eaten by a raccoon before she had learned to go into the coop at night. As for Maple, a Maran, someday soon she’ll start laying copper-colored eggs,* but for now there’s not much to differentiate her from a Barred Rock. She’s black, white and stripey. See below, fleeing the attentions of the resident chickenherd:

Boy herding chickens


* She wasn’t a Maran. When she grew up, the eggs were not at all copper-colored. She was a Barred Rock, damn it.


These new chickens, the Peepers, came to join the three we already had, the Big Ladies: Chamomilla the Gentle, Ingrid the Wise and Boudicca the Rash. Chamomilla, leaping:

Chicken Leaping

She’s a Buff Orpington. Below, our Rhode Island Red:

Portrait of the Chicken as a Young Hen

This is Boudicca, named for the Celtic general who almost turned Rome out of Britain and convinced Nero that the Britons weren’t worth it. Boudicca the chicken is also fierce. We’ve thought about putting her in the soup pot for her malicious pecking. Now, however, the boy is old enough; they are equally matched.

Chicken Feet Walking

Introducing the closest living relative of the great and ancient Tyrannosaurus.

  • sk8augustine8macdonald

    “They always take the sweet ones.” LOL

    • :D You know, having lost only one chicken to date, I confess I’m exaggerating when I say “they always.”

      And yet! Harriet’s demise reminds me of my mom’s childhood chick, who was taken by a hawk while it pecked innocently about her yard in Africa. Speckles was also the sweetest, my mom tells me. Ah well.

  • Great pics!

  • Glorious, indeed! We’ve decided to finally take the plunge and get some chickens of our own. I’m ridiculously excited.

    • Ha, that’s great! I read the article you linked to; that picture of the neighbor’s coop is pretty awesome.

      Also, speaking of putting a coop in a very small front yard, have you seen the chicken coop in the Sunnyside neighborhood? It’s at something like SE Main and 36th. (I know for sure it’s between Hawthorne and Belmont, and between 37th and 34th.) It’s a very tidy, space-efficient coop, attractive, and it’s home to at least three chickens. Across the sidewalk, on the grassy strip next to the road, they have a compost bin with several compartments – a design I would love to model a bin after someday.

      My other thought was, have you thought about chicken tractors? Another space-efficient front-yard option. Here’s a link to a picture from Wikipedia: http://bit.ly/vZmDTZ