Our Cast of Characters
We chose specific breeds for our flocks, based on the quality and color of their eggs and for their personalities.
Our birds free range in a small organic pasture with access to greens, organic vegetables, and fruit. Free range, organic eggs are lower in cholesterol and higher in protein & nutrients. You can’t beat the flavor of a fresh egg from a happy, healthy hen.
Wikipedia, “The Legbar is a rare British autosexing chicken breed. It was created in the early twentieth century by Reginald Crundall Punnett and Michael Pease at the Genetical Institute of Cambridge University. It was created by cross-breeding Barred Plymouth Rock chicken, Leghorns, Cambars, and in the case of
Cream Legbars, crossed with Araucanas. “ The hens lay blue to blue-green eggs. Leroy Brown is a Cream Legbar rooster with a 3-hen harem of Cream Legbar hens. They are considered production hens, unlike the Marans. Ours are prolific layers of medium sized, blue-green eggs.
Below is our Gold-Laced Polish rooster, Pocahontas. (I know, I know that’s not a man’s name but it fits. He is fierce!) Pocahontas joined us in 2016, smuggled into the new brood MummyBird was raising. He was smuggled into the maternity ward in my vest pocket. But, that’s another story. He joins our other Polish, Audrey Fandango, Susie Q., Little Susie, and Dina Ross. Like them, he is animated and mischievous. He is also a real drama queen.
One day in mid-October I heard a strange sound that seemed to come from the breezeway area. I thought one of the Twisted Kittys had thrown up a fur ball. I ran out to look but no one was there and there was no vomit on the floor. I shrugged it off as a mistake. A few minutes later I heard the strange sound again. Through the windows of my downstairs bedroom, I saw a prehistoric head staring at me. It was bald and pink, with red and blue splashes. Running to look out the window I saw a huge blue-gray turkey. He was walking back and forth looking through the windows and gobbling. Over the next two weeks, he stayed close to the house, sat on the stoop, and watched the cats follow me across the kitchen and called us to come out and visit him. It was a turkey-hunting season in Maine. Fearing that he would wander off and get a shot I checked with our feed store about proper food. They instructed me to feed him the breeder’s grain I was feeding the chickens. I sent a video to the Game Warden and then also called the Animal Control Officer about what to do. I followed their instructions for finding his potential owner, even traveling much further afield than they recommended. But, it was to no avail. No one would claim him or own up to having owned him. And then, all of a sudden, it was too late. We realized that he had escaped the hunters and someone’s Thanksgiving table and that he had chosen us.
Tommy had been watching us from the woods for about 10 days before revealing himself. (My husband had been hearing him in the woods around our house for that long.) We think he was watching us herd the chickens across the lawns and the Guinea Hens had been alarming at something in the woods. First, he moved in with the chickens and then he got his own house. Tommy is a rare, heritage blue slate turkey who will never lay an egg or pay his own way, but he has a home with people who love him. He has taken it upon himself to manage the roosters and breaks up any fights.
I’m still amazed at the rush of emotions, which cause his head to flush red and blue. The little cowlick of black hair on his head and the big black sprout of feathers that look like a beard that protrudes from his chest. When he sees me looking at him out the kitchen window he still catches himself and fans his tail and begins to strut. When I go out to feed the hens he follows me closely, walking like a person with a plate balanced on his head. When he wants to be particularly impressive he drags the tips of his wings on the ground to make a gravely noise and thumps deep inside of himself. Such a showoff! Such a boy!
Our 4 boys, called the Twisted Kittys, were rescued from an adoption agency back in 2007. You would never know that they were born on the same day and from the same mother.
Pirouette & Tiger watch Jackson Galaxy on TV from the living room overhead beam.