Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hen personality close up

It has been a few days now, and even though we have not had many daylight hours with the new hens, we are starting to recognize their individual personalities. As you can tell from the photo, Pauline, the Black Star, is the inquisitive one of the bunch. She is very people friendly and always the first to check out anything new. Lou, the cream and red hen (I now think she is probably a Red Star, but still don't know for sure), is the pretty, mean girl. She pecks at the others and even will fly at them a bit if she thinks they are getting something she wants. Hilda is our big Rhode Island Red girl who just minds her own business.

Because of the big dogs and the cold weather they have been spending lots of time packed into the one small nesting box, so when I went to clean it out today there was a solid layer of chicken manure. I was surprised to see, however, that the manure was just sitting on top of the straw. Once I removed the very top layer, all the straw underneath was clean and dry. I felt pretty badly about those conditions, but they had a lovely clean coop as well. I do keep seeing HIlda on the perch in the house, so hopefully they soon will be comfortable enough to spend their time in the coop rather than the nest. I want that nest nice and clean when it comes time to lay those eggs. The hens make very soothing noises; it feels nice to spend time near their run. They are waiting in line in the morning when we open the door from the coop to the run. It's a pretty sight to watch them march out one by one. I hope they are as happy with us as we are with them.