Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Is Meanie a Rooster???


Meanie with her brown and golden feathers

When we purchased Meanie and my other three hens from a chicken breeder, we were wanting four specific breeds that laid four different colored eggs. The chicken breeder was having a tough time catching the white egg laying Leghorn breed that I originally wanted, so while the farmer was running around trying to catch a Leghorn, Meanie ran up and I pointed at her and said I thought that she was pretty with her brown and golden feathers and the farmer quickly told me that she was a mix breed that laid white eggs. He also told me that she had just started laying and was laying almost every single day. So, I said, "I'll take her!". Of course, he caught her right away, and we loaded her up with my other three hens and as we were about to drive away the farmer happened to mention that the white egg layer that I had chosen was so mean that even his roosters were scared of her. "Uh Oh!", was all I could think. And yes, she was mean to my other chickens for several weeks and I considered many times taking her back. My husband and I even thought, at times, that she looked like she might be a rooster. Thankfully, as time went on she began to simmer down and even though she can be a little mean sometimes, she really is fairly sweet and well mannered. And I feel a little sorry for her, because she is very timid of us and I think this is because we were constantly having to chase her away from terrorizing the other hens. She also happens to be the slowest chicken I have. She is always the last to leave the hen house when I let them out in the morning, the last to go out and come back in when I let them out to run around outside of their pen for a little while, and even though I was told by the farmer that she was laying everyday, I have yet to see an egg, so she will be the last to lay an egg out of the four.

One day my husband and I noticed that she was starting to grow spurs on her legs like a rooster, so then I really started to wonder. I did some research online and found out that she is more than likely a chicken mixed with a game hen and they will often grow spurs. Whew! I was relieved to read this and assumed that it was probably true since we had never heard her crow. BUT she had never laid an egg, either.  At least not under our watch and her spurs continued to grow larger and larger! But, guess what?!? Today she verified that she is indeed a hen! She FINALLY laid an egg!!! Not exactly a white egg, but a kind of cream colored egg that is quite a different color than I've seen. I was so excited to find the egg late this afternoon when I went out to the hen house to give them some corn and scraps. At first I was almost in disbelief when my eye caught a different color egg than I was normally used to seeing in the nest boxes. But then I realized that Meanie must have laid it. Good 'ole Meanie. So, another little miracle in the nest box today and now ALL FOUR OF MY HENS are finally laying! Well, except for one, Whitey, who has gone on a brief break, because she is presently molting.  Her downy white feathers covering the hen house and yard like snow. Hens normally do not lay while they molt, but I'm sure she will be back at it in February or March and then maybe I will start getting four eggs a day. Whoo Hoo! :)
The Egg!!!

Compared to the other eggs it was very oblong


  1. Good job, Meanie!! That cream-colored egg is so much prettier than just plain white, I think.

    I am so enjoying reading your chicken stories, Tina! I am a wannabe chicken lady, so I'm currently living vicariously through your posts. :) have you found a chicken painting for the kitchen, yet?

  2. Awww, thanks, Danika, I am glad you are enjoying! :) I think the cream colored egg is prettier than a white egg, too. It is almost pink. No, I did not find a chicken picture that I liked, but I did find a really nice rooster picture! Thanks to my husband, it is up and hanging! I hope you are able to get some chickens one day. They really are lots of fun! Full of much more personality than I ever expected. Although, I am not quite sure what my neighbors think of them. ha! ha! Take care!

  3. My two Polish hens are the same age and the same breeding. One has always had spurs, one hasn't. So, it was easy to tell them apart. But, this, the winter of their third year, the spurless one grew spurs like her sister. I didn't realize it for awhile. What a surprise to realize that the hen I had though was Tina, could have been either one!
    -Terry at HenCam

  4. Hi Terry! So interesting to read about your Polish hens with spurs. I wonder why one would suddenly grow spurs after 3 years? The mysteries of chickens! Thanks for stopping by! I LOVE reading all of your chicken stories!