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Meet the flock

This is a post I first made on DW*, but I added a bit more info along with the pics.

Let’s start this catching up with baby steps. Seems easy to talk about our chickens, so I’ll begin there. Back in this post I mentioned the flock, but things have changed since then.
The day J went back to Cairo, he first made an early morning dash to a nearby farm to get two ready-to-lay hens for us. Because, you know, I was trying to get settled into a new house with three kids in another country and had just fallen down some stairs and seriously wrecked my arm. Of course I needed more things to take care of.  Remember this point of needing more to do; it comes up often. :P In all seriousness, though, we were all ready to start eating some farm-fresh eggs, fresh from our farm, that is.
Wazel Peck and Pêche are both good layers, but Pêche is certainly the star. Poor Wazel got a bad case of worms in August and is now undergoing a major moult, so her laying has been seriously sidelined. They are both typical hybrid hens, what people around here simply call « Les poules rousses. »

The hen on the left is Wazel Peck, when she was feeling well, next to Lila, the little Buff Orpington that I mentioned being sick:

And here are Wazel Peck and Lila again, now that Wazel is moulting and Lila is back on her feet.  Yep, against the odds that everyone around here said Lila wouldn’t—couldn’t—beat, she is mended and doing great. She convalesced in the house for over a month, and I doctored her with elderberries, self-heal, comfrey, nettles,** propolis, and thyme and clove essential oils. When she got a sinus infection, I gave her injections of Tylon, or however it is spelled.

Lila, looking spry and doing ever-so-much better. Love her character; she is curious, friendly, brave, and independent:

This is « my » hen, Winona, a Wyandotte, who is still with us even after being attacked by something, possibly a hawk. Not only do I think Wyandottes are beautiful, the race has a lot of characteristics that made me choose her, like being known for being good mothers. We hope to hatch our own chicks come spring to supplement some day-olds that we'll buy for meat birds:
Sprout’s other hen, Lightning, a Gournay, who is now helping Pêche keep us in eggs. Some people believe that the Gournay line has roots in chickens brought to France by the Vikings:
Cot-Cot, Ti’Loup’s Bourbonnaise. This is an old photo; her crest is quite big now and I think she’ll be the next one to come into lay. She is also a hen that I really like. Similar to Lila, she is very energetic and a real go-getter. Not skittish, very curious, and a fantastic forager:
And an earlier photo alongside a current one of our Noire de Berry rooster, Rico. I wish I had a picture of him before he got attacked by our neighbor’s dog the other day. His tail was quite magnificent. We’re just happy he is still with us and that I went outside in time when I  heard all the ruckus.
IMG_9917.jpg IMG_1369.jpg
After Wazel has her first spell of not laying and Lila being at death’s door, I asked the breeder from whom we bought the majority of our flock if she had any hens that were ready to lay because one egg a day was not cutting it. She sold us Storm, a Coucou Malines Tête de Dindon (turkey head). That was over two months ago, and we are still waiting on an egg from her. :-/ When, after a month of waiting, we half-jokingly asked the breeder if she mistakenly sold us a rooster, she said, « She has to lay one of these days." Color me irritated.
* I'm fed up with DW and will be posting on LJ again.

** On a couple of blogs and forums, I’ve read people in the States saying that elderberry and nettles are poisonous for chickens. Why is that? Chickens in France are regularly fed nettles, which are excellent on the nutrition front, a real superfood. Our chickens wouldn’t touch unripe elderberries, but once the berries were ripe, the chickens loved them, and I firmly believe they played an integral part in Lila’s healing.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 28th, 2017 09:55 am (UTC)
Awww, they're so pretty, fluffy and diverse. :)

Our chickens wouldn't touch nettles, but they'd eat ripe elderberries, no problem. The wild birds as well love them.

Lightning looks nothing like the original (oldest) breed Danish chicken breed (the small ones I had), but I do see some similarities to the Icelandic Landnam hens which are descendants of Viking chickens. :)
Nov. 29th, 2017 09:00 pm (UTC)
Re: nettles, since ours are free-range, they definitely do NOT go after the nettles on their own, but if I cut them up in my 2nd-hand food processor that I bought for that purpose, they eat them. Same with comfrey.

Yeah, I don't know how reliable that bit of info was on Lightning. Seems like a looooooong time ago to still be bragging about some genes, but who knows.

Now I need a chicken icon, I think.
Nov. 29th, 2017 11:17 pm (UTC)
lol... well, you know your pea, it never even entered my mind to PROCESS nettles for my chickens.
Dec. 2nd, 2017 05:35 am (UTC)
LOL. But you're my pea!!!
Dec. 2nd, 2017 11:20 am (UTC)
Clearly not in ALL areas! Bwhahaha
Nov. 28th, 2017 11:45 am (UTC)
Oh I came here and I can see them all! They're so beautiful! Rico is **more** handsome than I imagined. And Cot-Cot is so **cute** and delicate! What an excellent flock.

I will make a note to read your journal here on LJ <3
Nov. 29th, 2017 09:02 pm (UTC)
I imagine I'll post more pictures in the future, just because I find chickens so fun, and next time the photos won't be formatted for DW and hence so small. Then you will be able to see them better. :D
Nov. 28th, 2017 02:29 pm (UTC)
What BEAUTIFUL chickens you have.

Do they all lay white eggs? Or do you get any browns?
Nov. 29th, 2017 09:03 pm (UTC)
They are quite lovely. It is amazing how much diversity there is in the poultry world. :D If I had the resources, I would buy lots more just to look at them and admire their lovely plumage.

I took an egg picture for you today! I'll make a post with it soon so you can see all the variety. :D
Nov. 29th, 2017 05:33 am (UTC)
So good to see a post! And lovely hens.
Nov. 29th, 2017 09:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you and thank you! I thought of you the other day when I unpacked some postcards that I meant to send you YEARS ago from Egypt. *cringes at self*
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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