One of my co-workers has chickens and has been a great, patient resource for a “beginner’ like me. I call her the Chicken Whisperer. Here are some of my questions from the last year as I prepped for the girls’ arrival.
Q: How long have you had chickens?
A: I have kept chickens for 19 years.
Q: How many do you have?
A: Right now, we house 4 egg layers and have a fifth as a family pet. The difference is the pet chicken is carried about, held and petted much like a cat by my son.
Q: What breeds do you have now?
A: Right now, I have a Rhode Island Red and her daughter whose father was a crazy Bantam rooster named Monsieur Cheep Cheep. The other 2 egg hens are Wyandottes. The pet is a Bantam cross hen.
Q: Do you start them as chicks/eggs/pullets?
A: I have started all my chickens from chicks. Peu Peu, the banty cross daughter was obviously an egg. It was very exciting for my son to count the days before the egg hatched. On September 23rd, 2006.
Q: How many have you had at one time?
A: We have had as many as 9 at one time. I started with Araucanas but have had Brahma, Australorp, Rhode Island Red, Wyandotte, Bantam and Buff Orpington.
Q: Do you have a favorite breed?
A: My favorite breed is the Buff Orpington. They are gentle, good layers, and take to penning well.
Q: M’sieur CheepCheep is a great name, any other memorable names?
A: We have hadTeeco, Pica, Buffy, Pecker, Grandma Chicken (she lived 15 years, one of the original Araucana), Oreo, Dots, Fireball, Speckles, Blackie, Christmas Chicken (as a young chicken, she was placed in the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, nestled among the ornaments. She slept there all night for my son to find in the morning.), Redhots, Chicky, and the Magical Jumping Chicken.