Farm fresh eggs from my backyard chickens make all the difference in my baking. The yolks are richer, the whites are perfect for whipping meringues, and the overall taste is outstanding.
Since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted pet chickens and now I finally have a small flock. First thing every morning I head to the backyard to check on my girls and collect eggs. Each one has their own goofy personality, place in the pecking order, and favorite spot to lay. Besides knowing that my eggs come from healthy birds, I get daily entertainment from taking care of them.
So let’s meet these backyard hens and learn a little bit more about their breeds. Forewarning you, I get a bit silly when talking about animals 🙂
Meet My Backyard Chickens
Plymouth Rock Chickens
First, is the dynamic Plymouth Rock duo. The Plymouth Rock or “Barred Rock” hen dates back from Massachusetts early 19th Century. A hardy breed that lays large brown eggs. They have a pretty easy going attitude and are great egg producers.
On top of the pecking order is Penny, the “boss hog” of the chicken run. With the most outgoing ‘go getter’ attitude of the bunch, she is Queen. A little pushy and food possessive, but also friendly. Penny is who you want to lead the boardroom meeting, plan your vacation, and save your seat at the movies. Just don’t leave her alone with your bag of candy!
The second Plymouth Rock Hen is Roxy, also known as “the sidekick”. Yep, a laid back, go with flow lovable character who gets along with everyone. Roxy seems to fall in the middle of the hierarchy, but most importantly the “best friend” of Penny. She’s always up to meet for coffee, listens to you vent about your boyfriend, and genuinely enjoys meeting new people. You know, the kinda hen who never has anything bad to say and greets you with a hug. We should all hope to have a little more Roxy in us:)
Easter Egger Chickens
Next, are my two Easter Egger Chickens, also known as the blue egg layers. As a photographer, I just had to have some colorful eggs in my basket. Luckily I have two wonderful birds that lay teal eggs almost daily. This breed is an American crossbreed of either Araucana, Ameraucana, and Cream Legbar purebreds with other purebreed chickens. They are docile, beautifully colored, and have great egg production.
I have a soft spot for Goldie, the bearded Ameraucana cross hen. She is second in command to Penny, but tends to reign with a softer touch. Very smart and intuitive, a bird of pure intellect. She socializes when needed, absorbs her surroundings, and makes sure to practice self care. I think of her as the “dreaming creative”, who molds into whichever situation she finds herself in. Always thinking before speaking, but always wondering what her next move will be. If she were human, I feel we would get lost in deep discussion and sip on wine while watching a sunset.
The largest hen of the flock is Snowflake, a white Ameraucana cross with black tipped feathers. She is equal to Roxy in the pecking order, just a friendly middle of the pack kinda gal. A bit aloof at times, but never misses a chance to devour treats, or chase flower petals that blow into the pen. She is quite tall with the longest neck. I often see her doing leg and wing stretches in odd directions. Think of her as the “yogi” who is in complete zen mode working on her flexibility.
Blue Opington Chicken
Last but not least is my Lavender hen, a mixbreed cross between a Blue Oprington and who know’s what. She could be purebred, but it’s highly unlikely. All I know is the Blue Oprington is a large “blueish” feathered bird, of British decent, that lays light brown eggs. Mine lays pale creamy eggs, so there’s definitely another breed in there somewhere.
Layla, is at the bottom of the pecking order and probably the youngest of the flock. A scrappy hen who sneaks in, grabs her food and runs before anyone can tell her to get lost. Let’s refer to her as the “under dog”, who befriends the middle pack hens, and knows when to get out of the Queen’s way. It’s hard not to root for Layla when you know she is a true fighter!
If you made it this far and don’t think I’m a crazy chicken lady, hope you enjoyed getting to know my birds. Looking forward to sharing more about fresh eggs and caring for backyard chickens in future posts 🙂
Photo style inspired by Rembrandt and classic french impressionistic oil paintings.