Esmeralda-the crowing hen

We got a hen that crows. That’s right, a hen that crows and lays eggs and she’s not a rooster! Her formal name is Esmeralda and got her from a friend who had 2 hens and one died and she didn’t want Esmeralda alone so she asked us if we would take her. I was hesitant to bring a lone chicken into our established flock. Sometimes they don’t do well and get picked on when introduced. But I said we could try and see. When our friend brought her over we hung out to see what would happen. Esmeralda strolled right in and started to eat some grain while the others watched. The leader of the flock picked on some of the other chicken but when she went over to Esmeralda, Essi as we started to call her just stopped eating, looked up at the leader and resumed eating and that was the end of the confrontation and the pecking order. Essi was the new leader and is always kind to the others.

Then one summer morning I heard crowing from the open window of our house and it seemed to be coming from our flock but we don’t have a rooster. Every time I walked out the door to investigate, the crowing would stop. So one morning I took a different route down to the coop and there was Essi crowing as she didn’t see me.  She goes Err, err, err, et et. Not a full fledge crow like a rooster but definitely a crow. She is so sweet and always runs up to be petted. I researched ‘crowing hens’ and sure enuf, once in a while one will crow. First time in 15 years of having chickens that I have experienced that! She is my most favorite chicken. Ever. Just had to share this with you all.

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Chickens enjoy some lettuce

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In August a made a lettuce/mesclun bowl. I should have thinned it out so I could have cut and come again the greens but didn’t. If I had thinned it out, I would have gotten some great greens. So I gave the lettuce bowl to the chickens this morning. They gobbled it up! Glad to share.

Woo! Hoo! Eldorado can raise chickens following appeals court ruling

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Sophia, one of the giantveggiegardener’s ‘girls’ is a beautiful Ameraucana chicken and lays blue green eggs. No chicken little here!

For several years now, some of the Eldorado residents who wanted to raise a few chickens fought with their Homeowner Association (HOA) as to whether they can keep chickens as pets. The HOA said they could not raise them in the Eldorado subdivision just southeast of Santa Fe. The homeowners took the HOA to court at great costs and now the appellate court has ruled in their favor of allowing them to keep chickens.  YEA!! It’s about time that the courts saw the value of keeping chickens even if the HOA does not. Chickens are not noisy, they are friendly, and they lay eggs! What pet gives that for you! A pet with a purpose! Nothing better than fresh eggs! Congrats to all who fought for their right to have chickens! To read the story in The New Mexican, go here.

The pullets are laying!

I got 5 new pullets in November from my friend Mike Warren who raised them from chicks and sold them to me as pullets once they grew up enough. Their names are Sophia, Odetta, Rosa, Nina and Alice

pullet eggs Mar1

This way they would be ready to lay in spring and  are starting to do so now. The pullets were big enough that we didn’t even have to acclimate them to the older hens. The old girls accepted them right away.

pullet egg vs reg eggNotice when pullets start laying, their eggs are smaller than adult eggs

shelless egg

and sometimes in the beginning, they don’t even have hard shells!

The original girls

I still have 5 older hens that are 10 years old this year! They had stopped laying several years ago except now that the new ones are laying, 2 of them are laying again! They have remained pets since their laying days.

 IMG_5348What does BT the cat have to do with chickens? Nothing, he just loves his chicken!

Eggstraordinary update!

Ok, the culprits have revealed themselves! Late Saturday night (at midnight) our friends Adam and Caleb plotted to come out to the chicken coop to plant over 200 eggs. Using a red headlight, the chickens were a little uneasy with this stranger in their midst! and even more shocked in the morning when they tried to figure out which one of them had such a productive night! This is one of the best April Fools pranks I’ve ever experienced- Thanks guys for a good laugh!

April Fool’s-An Eggstraordinary Day!!

Today was April Fool’s day and was an eggstraordinary day! After coming home from a movie we checked for eggs in the chicken coop and discovered an unbelievable sight-the whole coop floor was covered with eggs!!

“Look what we laid!! Boy are we tired! It’s been a full day to lay all these! We’ll have to sleep for a week to recover!”

Under our old girls who were now sleeping was lots of eggs!  And I don’t mean a few-lots and lots! Did they lay them? How could this be? How did they get there? Ah, a mystery! We’re not sure who put them there but it was a great April Fool’s Day joke. We laughed and laughed. We must have collected at least 10 dozen eggs, filling up every bowl and bucket we could find! Then we discovered another joke-some of them are hard-boiled and some are raw! Even more funny! Now the refrigerator is totally filled with eggs everywhere! We thinking of having a giant 120 egg omelet for breakfast tomorrow! Maybe we’ll set a Guinness World record for largest omelet! Breakfast anyone?!!