Left to right: Fleur (Coral hen), Hermione (Columbine hen), Myrtle (Bluebelle hen) and Ginny (Speckledy hen).
A year on and the hybrid hens are all grown up, if a little scruffy looking (they’re currently going through a ‘mini moult’). Have you noticed how big their combs are now, compared to last year? Especially the Coral hen, Fleur, her comb is so large it flops over one side of her face, covering one of her eyes.
Occasionally, a gust of wind lifts her floppy comb up high into the air!
It’s taken a while for Fleur and Hermione to get used to me, I cannot pick them up yet but I can reach out and touch them without feathers flying everywhere, occasionally I get a disapproving peck on my hand. Ouch! These breeds are known to be ‘flighty’ (they certainly are timid birds), having always kept rescue hens I’ve never experienced this with chickens before, ex-caged hens are not usually nervous of people for very long which is quite surprising really.
They’re all good layers, particularly Ginny and Fleur, hardly ever missing a day. The next photos are especially for Melissa Aldana, probably Myrtle’s biggest fan! (well, apart from me of course).
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on May 16, 2013
I thought I’d share some photos of the new hens, taken when they first arrived almost 2 weeks ago. First up is Ginny, a Speckledy hybrid hen bred from a Maran. She’s very sweet and easy to catch, she quite likes to be picked up and handled and eats from my hand etc. She should lay brown eggs.
Then we have Fleur, a pure white hen called a Coral, when she begins to lay her eggs should be pure white. Since this photo was taken her comb has grown considerably, she’s taking more notice of the nesting boxes so perhaps her first egg will come soon. Being very skittish I can’t get near her just yet, however, she appears to be top hen of the younger girls.
Next up is Hermione, a Columbine hybrid bred from a Cream Legbar. I love the pattern and colours of this hen, and of course her funny hair do! There’s an 80% chance of her laying blue or green eggs, otherwise I can expect a range of pastel shades. Again, very skittish and nervous of me, I can’t get near her yet. She’s very sweet and appears to be the bottom hen now that Myrtle’s (bluebelle) no longer part of the flock.
Myrtle is a bluebell hybrid bred from a Maran and Rhode Island Red. She’s very docile and friendly and when she begins laying I can expect brown eggs, sometimes with a ‘plum blush’. She hasn’t been very well recently, fingers crossed she seems to be making a good recovery.
I can’t leave Emily out, here she is with her magnificent comb!
The eagle-eyed amongst you would have noticed a theme with my new hens names, let’s see if anyone can guess. EDIT: Fleur laid her first egg a couple of hours ago, a pure white little egg!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on May 25, 2012