Posts tagged Coop de Manion
New Hens at "Coop de Manion"

Dolly, Dahlia, and a Tail of Charley My dear friend, Poultry Princess Kathy Lafleur, so aptly penned by panache garden writer Debra Prinzing, gave me three young hens a few months ago from her billowing flock. All three young hens, Kathy raised from day-old chicks, from a baker's dozen purchased from My Pet Chicken, five months earlier.  All of the chicks turned out to be hens, to My Pet Chicken's credit. It is not easy to sex day-old chicks. It is an art. With that said, Kathy's coop "runneth" over as the chicks matured into young pullets (hens) and I was happy to adopt three of her beauties.

Two of my new hens are Silver Spangled Hamburgs, gorgeous, elegant black and white hens, that I named Dolly and Dahlia. The third is Charley, a White-Crested Blue Polish hen, whom you might have seen in her debut appearance, Chickens Dig Dirt Baths.

I was a little reluctant to blend these beautiful young hens in with my existing flock, for fear of not knowing the outcome.  I must confess, all went well, and introducing these young hens proved to be easy, nary a peck or a drawing of blood ocurred. Thank goodness, my elder hens, were on their best behavior.

Silver Spangled Hamburgs are small, almost bantam size, and very lively. In fact, after three months, I'm still trying to capture them together in a photo-worthy moment to no avail. I have noticed that when Silver Spangled Hamburgs are excited, they tend to fan their tail feathers, somewhat resembling a peacock.

Silver Spangled Hamburgs are an old traditional breed, whose origins date back hundreds of years to England and Holland. These hens exude elegance with their striking white feathers against black polka dot markings. Other stand-out features include a beautiful red rose-shaped comb, white ear lobes, and bluish legs. They are very quick, somewhat flighty, and not your "cuddly-lap" chickens for children. This breed is known for laying abundant ivory-colored dainty eggs, and a nice choice for "show competition."

Thank you, Kathy, for your lovely young hens. They are a joy, and a wonderful addition to our "Coop de Manion" flock.

Please share what factors have determined your personal chicken breed choices? Please share your motive for having, or wanting backyard chickens?

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Chickens Dig Dirt Baths

Charley Diggin' Dirt Meet Charley, short for Charlotte, she is a White-Crested Blue Polish hen, one of three new bantam hens I have added to my blended flock at "Coop de Manion" recently. More on this to follow.

Isn't Charley beautiful. She is as soft and fluffy to the touch as she looks. Her floppy white crest exaggerates her movement and personality. Honestly, I have had my beloved hens for about eight years, and Charley is special, she doesn't even act like a chicken. If I am crouching near the ground, she practically jumps in my lap, like a giddy teenager. With that said, she loves to be out in our garden, and loves to burrow in our soft sandy soil and create a dirt bath for herself.

In the above photo, Charley is demonstrating the fine art of a chicken "dirt bath." Don't ask me how they know how to do it, or where they learn it, they just know. Maybe they learn from their elders. If you have a prize-winning garden, this is about the most destructive a chicken will be. Chickens pride themselves in burrowing in the soil, making an indentation, and flicking dirt over themselves. If you have an exposed vegetable garden, this is another story because chickens love to help themselves to the latest gourmet treat emerging in your garden.

Charley is demonstrating her "dirt bath," in this sunny, sandy corridor where I have planted herbs along this pathway. All of my hens love to gravitate to this area, and wallow deep in the sandy soil. It is their favorite spot in the garden.

I have mentioned before when speaking of chickens in the garden, chickens love dirt baths to cleanse their feathers, cool themselves, and for general relaxation. It is sometimes hard to move a relaxed hen from her sunny dirt bath spot.

Now that you know the finer points of the chicken "dirt bath," I hope to put your mind at ease, and not be too concerned if you see your chickens doing the same in your garden. Rest assured, it is one of their little life pleasures.

Please share if your chickens like "dirt baths." Please share with us a little about your favorite chickens and their personalities.

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Latest Scoop From The Coop

J.Lo Giving Us The Scoop From the Coop Chickens and backyard chicken coops have got to be one of the hottest trends happening today in the garden, right up there with growing your own vegetables. In case you missed it this week, there was an interesting article in the New York Times about backyard chickens, emc=eta1.

Last month, the fab daily e-newsletter out of Southern California, "dirt du jour", spoke about the upcoming trend of chicken coop tours alongside garden tours in various parts of the country,

Recently, dear friend, Debra Prinzing, author of Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways wrote on her blog, Shedstyle, "Chicken Coop Sightings" and how utterly charming, beautiful, and creative chicken coops can be. Thank you for including "Coop de Manion" in your sightings.

Check out the latest scoop.