Meet the Flock Roundup - March & April, 2017

Meet Sam! Sammy joined the flock with a bunch of other chicks of a variety of breeds in 2013. Sam was a mystery chick at first - she didn't fit the pattern for any of the breeds and I was totally kerflummoxed as far as what she might be. I should have followed the rule of thumb, that if you don't know what a hen is, she's probably an Easter Egger - since they're not a true breed (they're a cross of any number of breeds with Auracanas/Americanas). Sure enough, when Sam started growing her distinctive (and highly attractive, I might add) ear tufts, I knew for a fact that she was an Easter Egger girl. Later, when she started laying those green eggs, that confirmed it!

Here's another picture of Sam. This is a picture from 2013, right after her first adult molt. Chickens can sometimes show subtle variations in feather patterns from one molt to the next and after this molt Sam had a delicate "necklace" of light gray feather. She lost this attractive feature after her next molt and it's never shown up again!

Here's a picture from Sam's childhood, back when we weren't sure what this little chick was going to turn into. Sam has had a good career as a green-egg-layer and is now in semi-retirement. Last week she started laying eggs again after taking the winter off. She's going into her fifth year this spring and many of her contemporaries have stopped laying for good - I guess Sam just likes to be productive!

Here's a recent picture of my little Silkie roo, Snowball, who is as handsome as he is fluffy. Some Silkie trivia: Silkie feathers are fluffy because the feather strands lack barbicels - microscopic hooks that keep the strands all hooked together in a "feather" shape. Since Silkie feather strands can float freely, it gives the appearance of long fur and allows Snowball to be the stylin' fluffy dude that he is.

Here's a picture of Snowball at about one month of age back in the summer of 2013. Maybe I'm biased but he just may be the world's cutest baby chicken.

Here's one more Snowball picture - from his early youth. He was a couple months old in this picture. Such a cute little guy!

April holds so much promise. The snow is gone. The trees and the ground are bare, but every hen in the flock knows that they will soon be green. Here, Rosa the Red and Jen the Hen snuggle down in a sunny spot in the hen pen while Emile stands guard.

Spring has reached Minnesota in a major way! Everything is turning green and/or blooming. I'm sure the senior members of my flock, who've been through the cycle of the seasons a few times have been eagerly anticipating this. Two of the most senior members are Buffy and Willow the Buff Orpingtons. They're shown here experiencing spring for the first time, a few years ago, on one of the first days they were allowed to go outside. Chick utopia!

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