Unsung Chicken Of The Week

A few of the hens get all the attention. Buffy has been a favorite for years. Agatha Agate immediately endeared herself to all. The Polish are their own comedy troupe. But what of the others? Today’s “Unsung Chicken of the Week” is Etheldred. She is one of three Speckled Sussex that came last spring in my order from Ideal Hatchery. I wanted more Sussex because I had recently lost Lulu, one of my great hens – she had a big, crazy personality and made her presence felt daily. However, it was clear early on that the three Speckled Sussex chicks were nothing like Lulu. Lulu, it turns out, was one of a kind. But, the three new girls each had their own, quite unique, personalities. Agatha is mild-mannered and none-too-bright but as sweet as can be. Florence is active, curious and quick. Etheldred is big, brassy, forward and hungry. She pecks at my shoes, she jumps up to peck my hand. She is demanding. She would not make a good school visit hen. On the other hand, she is the one hen that checks out what I’m doing in the garden. She’ll leave the others to hang out with me. She’s smart enough to know that I dig up bugs and I hand out sunflower seeds.

Etheldred is not show-quality. There’s too much white on her head. But I think that she is very pretty.

A note on how I’m doing: I had wanted to respond to each and every one of your nice comments, but I am not up to it. I spent most of Thursday in the hospital emergency room… I got a stomach bug which caused dehydration (I’ll spare you the details) and needed a few liters of fluids and some extra care. I’m back home and staying very quiet.


  1. Terry, so sorry to hear you had to make an emergency visit to the hospital. Hope this won’t set you back too much. I’m sure Steve is taking very good care of you so you can be out in the barns soon, but don’t hurry anything.

  2. Dear Terry,

    Hope you will be all better soon. You bring so much joy to others.

  3. Tough week. And now the power’s out!! Take it easy and get well soon. I think Etheldred’s pretty too!!

  4. Wow- knowing how difficult it can be to get the right coloration on a show dog I can not imagine trying to get the proper coloration on a chicken.

    Sorry to hear you have had a set back. We are all pulling for you to feel better as soon as possible. If your weather is anything like ours up here I advise you take your time and rest a while longer. Much prettier to look at the snow than to try and work in it.

  5. Sorry to hear you have had some more health problems. There are some nasty tummy bugs going around, the last think you really needed while recovering from your surgery. We look forward to hearing that you are back to good health soon!

  6. OMG!! SS to hear about ER visit. Hope your feeling better!! See you have no electric too. Totally sucks!! Hope you, your family and animal kids are safe and comfortable??Hope your electric comes back on very soon!!

  7. sounds like the dreaded norovirus. Pretty rampant and nasty in NC right now. Hope you feel better soon.

  8. SO happy to hear that you are doing well. I love your pictures,they are so pretty! I have a florence too, she was one of my original six. I named her after my grandmother and the other five after my aunts. The six cackling hens.

  9. Glad to hear you are home and resting again- get well soon!

  10. hope you’re ok and start feeling better soon.

  11. Dear Terry

    Sad for your emergency problem:(

    God bless you-feeling better soon.


    from France

  12. Sorry to hear of your set back, hope you feel better soon. We are all thinking of you and wishing you well. Take it easy, there will plenty of time to get back in the swing of things when you are feeling better. I know it’s not easy when you are used to being busy but I am sure thing’s will look better soon (and eventually sound better too). Lot’s of love to you.

  13. So glad you are on the mend, Terry. So glad you went ahead with the second implant…hoping that makes a wonderful difference and brings balance to your world of sound.

    Etheldred’s markings are so lovely. I have a year-old Speckled Sussex – Lucy – who is mostly a rich mahogony-red with white and black speckles. She is under the weather again and back on your Epsom Salt regimen.

  14. Awww. Sorry to hear that. Get well quick. My sister’s whole family, here in town, had it all at the same time.

  15. Oh boy I have been their, just getting over one along with a sinus infection. At least this time I wasn’t taken in an ambulance to the ER like I did the other two times. If you were treated like me you come to love those Phenergan shots, and other than fluids and electrolytes their isn’t much you can do. Phenergan in pill form is a God send too, here’s too hoping you will be feeling better soon.

  16. I have been reading your blog for a little bit now. This week we finally brought home our chicks! 4 speckled Sussex, 2 red stars and 5 BLRW. Your blog made me fall in love with the SS. I can’t wait to see my “kids” grow! Hope you feel better real soon!

  17. I’ve heard about a stomach bug that is going around….no fair getting it while recovering from surgery! I hope the remains of it go away quickly! Feel better!

  18. I think Etheldred is pretty, too. How did you ever come up with that name? I’ve never heard that before.

    Re: how you’re doing – Flu on top of surgery recovery! Aargh. So sorry to hear about that. Wish I could help. I’d bring you chicken soup, but I’m too far away. Bless Steve for taking such good care of you, and everything else while you’re out of commission. Still sending love and positive thoughts…

  19. Hope you’re feeling better!

    I know you want to spare us the details- but I’m curious (since I’ve been working in a hospital)- was it “C.dif”? That’s what I suspected, since I’m sure your were on antibiotics.

    • They’re treating me as if it is, which means I’m on a specific antibiotic, but it’s not one to protect my incision site, so I am not allowed out to the barn! Not until all is healed very completely. But, my surgeon thinks I got the stomach flu that’s been going around and it’s not C.dif. In any event, I’m recovering.

  20. so sorry you’re not feeling well :( get better soon! i have a sort of nasty hen also. she’s beautiful, a dominique, but “attacks” me constantly. not out of malice, just out of chickenness :)

  21. God Bless! I hope you are back on the mend. Your spirit was still up in your writing, always so beautiful and well spoken in your blog – I just love reading it – and the subject matter is always so lovely!Take it as easy as you can!

  22. Hi Terry!

    I work in a school and kids are dropping like flies. Nasty, nasty, nasty!!!! Feel better fast so that you can get out and enjoy your beautiful babies!!!!