Our Flock

I am the proud mama to a small flock of chickens that we recently started raising in our backyard. We LOVE our chickens--I can't say enough about how much fun they are to keep! In addition to entertaining us for hours with their little quirks and personalities, they earn their keep by providing us with hormone-free fresh eggs, keeping our yard nearly bug-free, and naturally fertilizing the lawn and garden. We have a small coop with an attached pen for our chickens and we allow them out to 'free range' whenever we are home during the day or when we get home from work, or sometimes while we are gone depending on how much they've been out lately.

Mama hen "Penny" and her 12 chicks


mama Rosemary and her chicks
We used to have four chickens total (three hens and a rooster) but unfortunately we lost one hen, Marjoram, aka "Marge" to a hawk and we lost Chamomile and Mr. Rue to a raccoon attack (we think). Mr. Rue was the sweetest rooster, finding food for the girls, protecting them, and allowing them to eat first. Such a gentlemen. He was often complimented on his handsome looks. We still have Rosemary out of the original four and she hatched out a clutch of chicks not too long ago. One of the chicks, who was born a week later than the others, was rejected by Rosemary, therefore, we were forced to raise it ourselves with a Partridge Rock pullet we bought for companionship. His name was Clove, and he had a tragic ending (see chicken posts on Clove). We have continued to acquire new baby chicks and hatched new baby chicks from our broody hens, and now we have a total of 17 chickens in our flock. Our alpha rooster is named Reggie (short for Oregano) and he is such a sweet, good rooster. All the extra roosters (about 6 or so) we will process for meat. We hope to continue breeding them, selectively allowing them to breed, go broody, and raise the chicks themselves. All the chickens are named for various herbs.

Mr. Rue at 5 months old
Mr. Rue at around 8 months old

We chose the Dominique breed of chicken due to its rich history (the oldest American breed) and its "heritage breed" status as an endangered breed. During the nineteenth century, Dominiques, aka "Domineckers," were extremely common on American farms and homesteads. But with the rise of production breeds the popularity of the Dominique waned and during the 1970s only a few flocks remained in existence. Today it is regaining strength is popularity. Dominiques are dual-purpose birds, cold hardy, good layers, excellent mothers, and a great choice for the small farmer. To learn more about the Dominique breed, visit www.dominiqueclub.org/

As you can see, I'll talk about my little chickies all day, so if you have questions about keeping chickens or would like to chat, don't hesitate to contact me!