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.