I have made reference to my chickens a few times in the past few posts. Collectively, they are known as The Ladies, and as they bring me not a small amount of joy with both their antics and the degree to which I can gross out my family, they deserve a formal introduction.
First up is Eleanor, aka The Fatty, The Queen, and as my partner calls her, The Freeloader (well, he calls all of them that whenever they aren’t laying but she’s the worst). She is a Barred Rock and almost six years old. For those that aren’t aware, that means she could qualify for the senior discount at most restaurants – chickens usually live anywhere from 7 to 10 years. She is named after Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of my favorite queens of history, and she has lived up to her moniker; she’s the last surviving of my first flock, through both strategic alliances and sheer chutzpah.
Next is Margaret of York, aka Margie. My partner likes her best both because she is one of the most consistent layers and he gets to call her back to the coop in his Fargo voice. She is a Rhode Island Red and I think she’s around 4 or 5. I got her as a laying hen, so her age is approximate. What is not approximate is where she is on the saucy spectrum: a combo of chile colorado and sriracha.
Now we jump to the most recent additions: Xochiquetzal and Inanna. I got them both as cute, fluffy things almost two and a half years ago. The older birds mostly ignore them, except when they try to roost on the same roost, and then IT. GETS. REAL.
Xochiquetzal, aka Xochi, is a Gold Laced Wyandotte and named after the Aztec goddess of fertility and young mothers. She is FIERCE. Unfortunately, she’s decided that really she should be the boss and I’m rather annoying. She often tries to challenge my leadership of the flock. Let’s just say, she has to be reminded that she is chicken and I am human, aka Head Chicken.
Inanna is an Ameraucana, a breed of chickens specifically bred to lay blue or green eggs. She was named after the Sumerian goddess of fertility and war, which turned out ironic because she is the most lily-livered chicken I have ever met, poor thing. I handle her only when necessary because it usually involves her screaming like she’s going to be eaten and well, the neighbors will start to talk.
I have had other chickens over the years, lost to either old age or unfortunate circumstances. My city’s municipal code says I can have six hens, so I have two spots to fill, right? I’ve always wanted some other breeds… or maybe I could get bantams? Bantams are essentially half-sized chickens, do you think the city will let me get FOUR? It’s math! Chicken math! *grins*
Et voila! The Ladies usually find their way into my stories and certainly in my garden (the latter being more than I prefer). They are lucky they are adorable and that my partner is queasy about fishing, much less processing chickens. At least so far.