Hi, well I guess I should introduce myself and give you a bit of info on the purpose of this blog. My name is Noelle, I am a backyard chicken keeper. I started my journey about 5 years ago when I wanted some chickens to help me on my hobby farm. Most people when they think of chickens, think of eggs. Well, that is definitely a plus of having your own hens in your backyard. However, I was thinking of them more of composers and garden associates.
Chickens make the best compost (poop) in their coop all winter long, which I then spread on my gardens in early spring. The plants love their coop shavings and in return give me a nice yield. But, even better, chickens make great exterminators, they eat just about anything that flies, craws, or hops in the backyard. I don’t have to use all the dangerous pesticides that I normally would because I have my feathered exterminators to do that for me. Most of all, they are my best friends in the backyard. I cannot work in the garden with out one of my girls looking for any grubs that I might have uncovered. They are great friends to have when I work in the garden. Additionally, they are attractive yard ornaments as they go about their days work of eating bugs, tilling, and clucking with glee when they find something delicious.
In this blog, I plan to share with you the joy of keeping chickens. When I tell people that I have chickens as pets, I get lots of different responses. Some think I am crazy to keep chickens as pets. Chickens are mostly viewed as live stock, void of all compassion and emotion. I am here to say put that myth to bed. I sometimes get response of curiosity. When people think about chickens the image of poor sad looking things in cages come to mind. They do not think of chickens as being attractive or even fun. I too will dispel the myth that chickens cannot be fun loving pets. But before I go to far I should probably introduce the flock and explain the name behind my blog.
Our coop is called The Kuntry Klucker. I chose this spelling because I thought it was fun and different. I like to be original and this name just fit. We live in the country and of course there is lots of “klucking” going on. So nope, I did not misspell the name of my blog, the spelling was intentional.
The gang consists of 12 hens and 1 Rooster named Roy. Roy is a character, he loves figs, spaghetti, and corn. I am the only one who can pick him up. Everyone else he deems as an enemy that must be exterminated. This even includes my own family members. He has mellowed out some as the years have passed, but he has never attacked anyone. He perfer to crow at them and pretend that he is a fearsome bird.
He is really the sweetest rooster I have ever known. I am not sure what I would do without him. I love to wake up in the morning and listen to him greet the dawn. He runs like clock work, an alarm clock that never goes out of power or relies on batteries. I never knew the joy of roosters till I had him. He is the king of the backyard.
Now for the girls. I have a dozen hens which I affectionally call “my girls”. We have…
Miss Bossie (The alpha hen) I will get to more of her later
Miss Katie (The forever broody mama) more on her later too
Miss Sweet Pea (The prize personality hen) more on her later too
Miss Little bit
Miss Little Pea
Miss Piggy (The hungriest Hen) she is always eating
Miss Lady Bug
Miss Lucy Goosie
Now most people ask me how I tell them all apart. Well, I have a little secret. I dress my hens up, that is right, they all wear the latest in Hen Fashions. I do this because it protects their back from the rooster but has the added side effect of a name tag.
Yep, that is right my girls wear dresses!! They love their outfits and protest when I take them off for washing. They each have their own individual personalities, I try to match the outfit to it. For example, here is Miss Sweet Pea, she is the smallest of all the hens, and the sweetest. However, she is also a flight risk. You see, she is so light that if we get a big gust of wind it is not uncommon for her to ride the wind over my 6 foot wood privacy fence. I have to make sure she stays in the pen on really windy days or days when we have severe weather, because she will ride the wind. So her outfit always has butterflies because she is a free spirit.
Now Miss Katie, she is my perpetual momma hen. She loves sitting on egg and hatching babies. She has hatched two clutches for me. She is the best momma and has earned her name as the Momma Hen. She is blind in one eye, has been since hatch, but that does not stop her.
Then we have Miss Bossie, she is the alpha hen. This means she is at the top of the pecking order directly under Roy. I am sure you have head the term “pecking order”. Chickens are very social animals and have a rigid social structure. Every individual knows their place within the hierarchy. Members in a flock compete for their position and must hang on to it. Miss Bossie has made the climbe to the top of the hen ranks. She is also my bad girl, in a funny sense. She is my escape artist, my “hen-didi”. If there is a breach in the coop security, she will find it. But she is also my helper, I use her to make their coop safer by securing up escape routs. For that reason, she has skulls on her outfit. There is one outlaw in every barnyard, she is ours.
I have many more chicken adventures to share, I will stop here. It has occurred to me that it is snack time. I am running a bit late, Roy is letting me know with his constant calling (crowing) for treats. Speaking of treats, that is a subject of much entertainment, chickens love treats. I will post about that next time.
Till next time take care, and keep on crowing. The girls and I will be back soon!!
The Kuntry Klucker Crew