Meet the Flock

Thanks for visiting us during the Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour 2013!

We have prepared this for our visitors and online friends who would like to know about the poultry you saw in our coop. We keep most heritage chickens and ducks.

Peck around below to learn more about our feathered friends.

Chickens

(Note: these pictures are not pictures of our flock. I grabbed them off the internet because I wanted to get this written in time for the tour. Someday, I may update it with my own pictures. The only exception is the picture of the Australian Spotted ducks at the bottom.)

maransBlue Copper Marans

Our Blue Copper Marans (marans is spelled with an “s” at the end even in its singular form) are consistent layers of very dark brown, glossy eggs.

People often say that their eggs are not susceptible to e. coli because the shells are so dense.  I have no idea if this is true or not. In general, any animal that is subjected to unsanitary, over-crowded, harsh living conditions is going to be prone to disease.

Backyard chickens live happy, healthy lives and are allowed to scratch and get fresh air and sunshine. That may have more to do with it than anything.

barred rockPlymouth Barred Rocks

A friend of mine won’t keep these birds because looking at their slightly blurred stripes makes her dizzy.  Who am I to laugh? I refuse to focus on autostereograms for any length of time.

Our three Barred Rocks are nice little hens. They are basically quiet and lay a few to several eggs per week. Even now, in the beginning of their third year, they are laying very consistently medium to large sized, brown eggs.

MoronHenCuckoo Marans

Broody Mama is a Cuckoo Marans (marans is spelled with an “s” at the end even in its singular form). Broody Mama, like all Cuckoos, is a very large chicken. Many people affectionately refer to them as a Chicken-O-Saurus Rex. As her name implies, these breeds make great broody birds if you need those services.

Our Broody Mama used to lay pretty regularly (brown eggs), but now in her third year of life, she has dropped back some. These make a great meat bird if that’s what you’re after.

RIRRhode Island Red

Rosria is a perky little thing. She’s a lovely red hen who has just started laying this spring. She lays an egg a day and the pretty, glossy shell almost has a red tinge to it.

She does have a lot to say. She’s very vocal when she lays an egg or even if one of her sister-hens lay.

 

 

speckeled_sussex

Speckled Sussex

We bought a couple of Speckled Sussex’s from Buck Moore Feed Store. In a tragic event, we lost one along with a few other month old chicks. Our little Annabelle was our only survivor and has been a flock favorite ever since. Not only does she fashion a lovely mille fleur patter, but she has the greatest chicken personality of all our chicks. If we leave the door open, she will waltz right into the house as if she’s expecting an invitation for a cup of tea. It’s so charming, I sometimes let her stay for a little bit. She just started laying this month. So far, she’s been laying an egg every day or two. Her eggs are off-white.

americaunaAmeraucana

We have three Ameraucana hens. They are very pleasant gals that don’t have much to say. They are a sweet and quiet breed. They lay a couple to a few blue-green eggs per week. Once, I was told by a woman that she was paying an extra dollar per dozen for blue eggs because they had “less cholesterol.” Folks, don’t believe that. The value in blue eggs is this—they’re pretty! That’s reason enough to buy blue eggs, but don’t be duped into that less cholesterol business, my friends.

 black austroportBlack Austrolorp

Our Black Austrolorp is very sweet and very soft. We expect her to be a great layer of brown eggs, but Antsy Pants only started laying a couple of months ago and then she went broody. None of her eggs hatched. She should start laying again in a couple of weeks. She lays brown eggs.

 

 

 

swedish flowersSwedish Flower Hen

We have three Swedish Flower Hens. They are hard to find and very rare in this country. Their mille fleur plumage is lovely and ours are very sweet. Since ours have just started laying, we do not yet know how well they lay. Their eggs are tinged light brown.

Learn more about Swedish Flower Hen’s at Greenfire Farms (http://greenfirefarms.com/store/category/chickens/swedish-flower-hens/)

DCIM100MEDIAIdeal 236

Ideal 236s are the only hybrid birds we keep. We have two chicks that were born March 2013.

We are big believers in raising heritage poultry, but decided to include these to boost our egg production.

Ideal 236s eat very little and are consistent layers of large white eggs. Many will lay an egg a day for two years. They are the flightiest chicks we’ve ever had and are said to have pretty flighty personalities as hens.


 

Ducks

A group of Khaki Campbell ducksKhaki Campbells

We have a couple of Khaki Campbell ducks. They are excellent (seasonal) layers of large, white eggs. They have a low voice, so their quack isn’t terribly annoying. But they sure can get going if they want you to bring them a snack or let them roam free.

Duck poo is larger than chicken poo, something you might want to keep in mind. But they are certainly enjoyable creature that will give you lovely eggs that are super in baking because of their higher albumen levels.

Duck on left -- Drake on right
Duck on left — Drake on right

Australian Spotted Ducks

These little guys are a family favorite. They have adorable plumage and are small and funny. They have so much personality and we delight in watching them run around the yard eating up all the flies and grasshoppers.

They do have a pretty sizable quack that can be problematic, but when free-ranging, they are quiet. They are layers of pretty little blue eggs. They are very seasonal but do get going in the spring.

Because they are very rare, we are trying to start a breeding program for them. So far, we have had little luck. Please let us know if you are interested in buying hatching eggs.

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