So in a follow up to the post on Kazooster the rooster finding his maturity, this post is about the hens becoming of age.
So lets start with terminology. Young male chickens, under a year old, are refereed to as cockerels. After a year they are called roosters. So technically it is “Kasooster the cockerel”, but that doesn’t have any zing! Female chickens, under a year old, are referred to as pullets. After a year they are called hens. So again technically it is “Jen the pullet” and again, no zing!
Next lets talk about naming the animals. There are different opinions and I believe you shouldn’t name anything you intend to eat, but with that being said – I give you Kazooster and Jen. 🙂 I dont see us eating the rooster any time soon since we only have the one, so he got a name after a horrible first week of attempt to crow. Jen is another story. While we will eventually rotate out these hens for new ones after a couple of years I have affectionately named them ALL Jen. This started when one bird seemed to always be at my feet when I was around the coop and as I would talk to her about why she was always bothering me, I decided she would get a name. I tried to determine which one it was so I could pick her out in a crowd, but apparently I am not that good Since they are all Plymouth Barred Rocks they tend to look a lot a like. There are slight variations in darkness of feathers or size of combs, but really in a group they tend to blend together. So I have just started calling them all Jen when I am speaking (or yelling if they are in the landscaping) directly to a specific bird, except Kazooster of course.
That leads me to real reason for this post, one of my 11 Jen’s has matured enough to start laying. This name thing has worked out since I don’t know which one actually laid the egg, I can just say “Jen started laying!” The chickens are a little over 4 months old, so getting started this early is awesome. At the old house we had Leghorns, since the city didn’t allow roosters we went for an all egg breed. It took them over six months to start laying. The first eggs are a little small, but I have found that to be normal and the increase in size as the birds mature. Here they are verses store bought grade A large.
The other thing I find exciting/interesting is free range eggs verse store bought. You can read the internets about free range organic is better for your health, but you can tell just by looking at them. The one on the left is the free range egg, look at the beautiful deep orange color.
And what would a post about fresh eggs be with out a picture that shows one good reason we raise chickens?