Monday, May 21, 2012

Odd Ball Chickens

A couple days ago I was sitting around thinking about some of the oddities I have among my chickens.  Most folks that we do eat our birds.  Mainly roosters, but old laying hens are also processed.  I look at as their final contribution after they are finished as laying hens.  We didn't grow up with much and my parents grew up with less.  As a result we try not to waste anything.  I remember every bird I have ever had and keep their records, stories, and pictures safe in case I forget.  I am too soft hearted and feel I owe them that much.  Yes I have been almost in tears as I eat supper.

The exception to being eaten seems to be the 'oddities' that are around.  Those get to stay around for much longer for the pure entertainment.  There are pets that will never be eaten, but those are mostly bantams.  OK, there are ALOT of pets and bantams running around that will never see the freezer.

Anyways, here are a few of the oddities that I enjoy.

There is a old buff orp hen that honks like a goose.  She has done it since she was a pullet and is now 7 years old.  She has also been a mother a few times and has earned the right to stay as long as she is able.  This is 'Mama' in 2009 with a group of Ameraucanas.

Another buff Orp that lays flat eggs.  Her eggs look normal except they are FLAT on 2 sides.  Obviously we named her 'Flat Butt'.  Also 7 years old and the sister of the hen above.  I have never had to worry about her egg rolling off the counter.

Old red muffed game hen with spurs so long we had to trim them.  Little Red's spurs curl like Ram's horns.  At 4 inches they reached her leg and had to be cut.  She was NOT happy.  Also a 7 year old hen.  This is her last month with the cut spurs.

Mixed bantam Rooster that doesn't like his leg feathers, so he plucks them out.  No idea why.  His dad was the same way.  'Andy' only has some tuffs down the outside of the legs, but when the feathers grow back he will pluck his legs clean.  For a few days his legs will be red and iritated after the plucking.

Bantam Cochin hen that crows.  Not all the time, just when she is not laying.  When Favy(rooster) tries to dance for her she will crow in his face.  It seems to confuse the crap out of him.  He just cocks his head to the side looking at her and then just walks away.  'Lacy' is only 6 years old.  This was her last year doing what she does best.

Dutch Cock and Hen that sneeze.  'Screech' has sneezed since he was 4 months old.  He is 4 years old now and still does it.  There is no discharge or smell and never has been.  He is normal otherwise.  I have come to the conclusion that he has allergies.  The sneezing gets worse when the Giant Wysteria that fills the cherry tree above his house is in bloom in late winter.  I have never shown him because I didn't want someone freaking out when he sneezed at a show.  The hen, 'Mocha', is his 2 year old daughter and does it too.  Hereditary allergies?

Standard Buff Cochin hen that will not go to roost on her own.  She will stand there yelling her head off till someone(ME) gets to that house to set her up each night.  If I place her in the wrong spot she will start yelling again.  Also I have to set her back down in the morning.  She will sit there all day before getting off that 2.5 foot high roost.  Heaven forbid she step down the ladder.  "Sassy" is one lazy woman and I have been obeying her for 6 years.  This picture of her is from last year.

A 4 year old Black Giant hen that has lost her voice.  A year ago we were threatening to chop her head off and eat her because of how loud and annoying she was.  She was constantly following us around and squawking.  It drove us crazy.  Then she suddenly started getting quieter.  Now she has no voice.  You can here the air force out, but no sound.  We rescued 'Bessie' when a large group of young roosters came through here on the way to a customer of ours processes them for their large family.

A Rooster that vibrates.  'Spot' is a tiny Dutch rooster.  He looks smaller then a serama, but is tight feathered and a hefty 15 ounces.  When he poses, which is alot, he will start to vibrate.  It is like he is straining too much.  It looks so odd.  This picture is from when he was very young.  I couldn't find a new pic right now.  I know I have them.

I do have 108 chickens and there have been a few hundred more that have lived here over the years.  With that many there are a few more oddities around here and even more that are past, but that is enough for now.


Side Note:  When I first wrote this I had 'Spot' described as a Cock, which he is, but went back and changed it to Rooster considering the way he is described.  If you go back and replace rooster with cock in the description of him you will see why I changed it. ;)


  1. Lots of great stories, Matt. :o)

  2. I have a BO that honks too! Although now that she's 7 months old, she's starting to grow out of it. Now she makes this silly trill noise when I introduce anything new to her. I really need to video tape it cuz it's super funny. The other night, I offered the girls a whole pear. And she really went nuts w/ this noise and acted like she was scared of the pear.

  3. Interesting flock you have there! I once talked my hubby into "freedom Rangers" SWORE I would eat them (he didn't believe me but agreed to get them). Processing day came and I cried, we did take them in to be processed but I couldn't get anymore. I thought I could do it, wished I could do it! SO Much healthier! I envy those who can :( I wasn't able to even eat those we did have processed *sigh* we ended up giving most of the meat to my family. Happy they got good use of it though.

  4. That's funny. You're right, though. With as many chickens as you have raised, not bad odds.

  5. Thank you, Matt, for changing the word "cock" to "rooster" on your description of Spot. And thank you for your adoring descriptions of your keepers. Of course you have to keep these oddities. It's your choice that you can't keep all hundred-and-something, but these oddities have earned their retirement in awesome personalities. Bless them all, including the ones who end up on the table.

  6. p.s. I have to share this wonderful post on FB.