Now that Mr. Grumpy and his girl have gone to their new home, and the five friendliest and most easy-going hens are at the nursing home, it’s become clear that my remaining six pullets are an active and rowdy bunch. Talk to an experienced grade school teacher, and she’ll tell you that every few years a group of kids comes along and the classroom takes on an energized personality. My son was in such a class once. It was filled with competitive sports kids and hyper-focused learners. The teacher, who was a nice laid-back man and folksinger during the summers, tried to teach the fourth graders how to self-calm through meditation, but to no avail. I feel that way about my six new pullets. They all have great personalities, which somehow, all together, become amplified.
I’ve named them and identified each breed on the who’s who page. It will be interesting to see how the social structure settles out. So far, Edwina, the grande dame of the coop, is maintaining her top hen status. Despite age and arthritis, I’m sure that will not change, as her attitude is as domineering as ever. It’s all in the mind.
This Cuckoo Maran is friendly yet calm, and gets along well with others. I named her after a book that I loved as a child – Veronica by Roger Duvoisin. It’s about a hippo that looks like all of the other hippos, all of whom live boring lives in the lake. Veronica goes to the city, has adventures, and when she comes back she is not like the other hippos. She is a storyteller. This Veronica hatched March 29, 2013.
Owly’s funny personality was immediately obvious. Even as a week-old chick, she looked curious and she looked up. She also had the markings of a round-eyed owl, hence her name. Owly is not the prettiest Ameracauna, but she does have the heart of a clown, and her expressions are endearing. Hatched March 29, 2013.
Beatrix is an Ameracauna with a classic face muff and gorgeous feathering, and what looks like a necklace around her neck. She is, like most birds of this breed, aloof but not flighty. She is named after Beatrix Potter. Hatched March 29, 2013.
Misty is a Blue Andalusian. She doesn’t look anything like her namesake, Misty of Chincoteague; perhaps I should have named her Stormy, for another horse in that book series. I read every one of Marguerite Henry’s horse books, and this hen is my way of acknowledging those classics. Although this Misty has slate grey feathers, she will lay white eggs. Hatched March 29, 2013.