Punk Rock Hens

This weekend I got a call from a chicken keeper in the next town over. She has a very nice backyard set-up: one of those pre-fab coops perfect for 4 or 5 hens, with an attached, fenced run. She keeps the area very clean and the hens even have a tub of sand and DE to dust bathe in. Like many suburban chicken owners, she has a mix of hens, including an Orpington, a gorgeous White Plymouth Rock, and a Rhode Island Red. Usually, hens of different breeds get along fine if they are the same size and age and hers got along quite cheerfully. However, recently she added two more hens, and that made it just that much more crowded. Her two Polish Crested, silly hens with big white top-knots, were the ones to suffer. The other hens weren’t trying to kill them (as can happen – hens sometimes become cannibalistic,) they simply couldn’t resist those fluffy white feathers. The Polish tend to be meek and flighty. Soon, they were bald.

Blue Coat is an antiseptic used in these situations. Not only does it prevent infection, but it darkens the skin, making it less of a target for the other hens. Still, this good chicken owner knew that the hens were unhappy, and so they came home with me.

Here is one, looking a bit like a punk star, with her outrageous purple styling. I need names for these two girls. Any ideas for female rockers?

punk hen

I put the new hens into the big barn. Even with more space, my hens have been pecking at the Polish’s heads. So, during the day, the new girls will be out with the goats to give them a break from the pecking order bullying. They’ve also got new hats.

duct tape hat

Duct tape really does fix just about everything. This headgear will deter bloody pecking! By the time the duct tape falls off, new feather quills will be growing underneath. I think the hens like their new fashions.


  1. Hi Terry…..OK..the group has a name not appropriate for your website…but the last part is “PISTOLS”..but Sid and Nancy? I cracked up when we saw those 2 in the goat barn!

  2. Without a doubt one should be Cyndi (Lauper) and the other Ozzy (as in ill fated rocker Kelly Osborne of the Ozzy Osborne clan). I thought about Kelly, but Ozzy seemed like a better chicken name!

  3. No suggestions, but I have two polish in my flock of 29 hens and their names are Wrongway and Whichway and yes they got the names because they are always going the wrongway. As you know with the feathers in their eyes they don’t see well (which is why I think they let other chickens bully them) and always seem to go the opposite direction of the rest of the flock especially when I need to round them up and lock them up before their natural bedtime.
    I do give mine “haircuts” and that does help with the running into things problem they seem to have as well.
    By the way, Wrongway will be 9 this spring.

  4. TOO funny Ken!! There is something totally ditzy about this breed. I’ve trimmed the “bangs” and they still don’t have any common sense.

  5. Patti for the original punk rock female Patti Smith
    Siouxsie from Siouxsie and the Banshees
    Joan for Joan Jett
    Grace for Grace Slick

  6. Has to be Siouxsie Sioux and Toyah. Did you ever get Toyah Wilcox over there in the seventies? She’s gone all respectable now and even performed in ‘Annie get your gun’ in the West End! Siouxsie however is still managing to be edgy well into her fifties, although she’s toned the eye make-up down. A bit.

  7. What a kind person you are! I’m sure the new girls will be very happy with you. How about Cher and Tina Turner? The girls’ topknots remind me of Cher’s Oscar outfit when she won for “Moonlighting.” And Tina’s wigs look a little like that, too!

  8. Plus, I just thought, those stars have been through the wringer, too, just like the hens!

  9. Looks like my suggestions are already on the list… Cyndi and Toyah

    My new hybrids have mad hair-dos, not sure where that came in from their Leghorn/Barred Plymouth Rock/Aracauna genes! Nutmeg has a particularly bouffant ‘do’, I’ve no idea if she can see where she’s going but she looks very cute!


  10. I saw you mucking out your hen house today and was wondering what kind of tool you were using and where did you get it? Btw, lots of great names have been suggested for your new hens that are so cute!

    • That’s a fine-tined pitchfork, made especially for mucking out horse stalls bedded with sawdust, but it is perfect for sifting chicken manure from shavings. It’s plastic, so lightweight. Wonderful tool. I also use a manure shovel to scoop up the stuff that collects under the roosts – not worth sifting through that!

  11. I vote for Debbie for Debbie Harry from Blondie and Joan for Joan Jett!

  12. I was just watching the new hens on the GoatCam. With their little duct tape hats they remind me of the scene in “Signs” where they are wearing tinfoil hats to keep the aliens from reading their minds,lol.

  13. Cyndi and Cher get my vote. I was happy to see all of the girls getting along so well this morning. How is Candy reacting to the new hens? She looks a little grouchy today.

    • Yes, Candy is surveying her domain and taking stock of the situation. Also, the weather has warmed up and she’s in her heavy coat, so she’s taking it slow today.

  14. i get it, that’s not duct tape…they’re the latest in energy-efficient chickens…solar-powered hens…they even come with their own solar panels on their heads…too cute…

  15. I know I already suggested some punk names, but this breed always reminds me of Phyllis Diller! Perhaps one should be named Phyllis!

  16. Hi, I love the site.—–Cyndi Lauper comes to mind, but I agree with Jen—— I thought of Phyllis Diller immediately. : ) Good luck with your decision

  17. Hi, I have two buff polish hens, 2 black polish hens and one black polish rooster. They are seven years old. The rooster is very aggressive. He reminds me of a banty rooster – so fiesty. His feathers are longer and do not create a bubble like on the hens. Consquently he can see well. In fact, you can see his eyes. I have never cut their bangs. I may try that so they can see the world they live in. These five chickens are in an enclosure by themselves. So there is no opportunity for bullying.
    Your two girls are quite an interesting addition to hencam