I never paid too much attention to the winter solstice until I became a chicken enthusiast. The passing of the winter solstice marks an important change in the seasons and is a time for celebration among chicken keepers. The days begin to get longer, and that triggers an increase in egg laying for chickens since their laying cycle is related to the amount of daylight they receive. Most of our ladies will turn three years old this spring, and our original ladies, Rhoda, Raquel, Rosie, and Ramona will be turning five years old! We decided last summer that we needed to add a few new hens to the flock to supplement the decreased egg laying of our older hens.
Last summer, Violet hatched seven chicks for us (Chick Love), three of which have grown up to be our lovely ladies Rosalie, Dusky, and Midnight. These ladies are now eight months old, and they started laying eggs several weeks ago. They have added brown, pastel green, and olive green eggs to our egg basket. We also bought four day-old gold comet chicks for Raquel (Raquel, Reinvented) which she happily adopted and raised up into hens that are lovely to look at and have an attitude to go with their good looks just like their momma. The gold comets are now six months old and have started laying medium brown eggs. Brown Rooster is quite fond of the new additions to the flock, which I’m sure is a relief to the older ladies who now get a bit of a reprieve from his amorous ways.
The most recent additions to our flock are three black copper marans hens that I bought a few months ago to give Ramon some company (Ramon’s New Lady Friends). These girls were a bit skittish when I first brought them home, but they have settled in nicely to their new home, and I’ve grown quite fond of them. So fond in fact, that they have recently been named, which is saying something since not all of our ladies have names – although to be honest, more of our ladies have names than not. Ramon’s ladies are now known as Henny, Penny, and Little Miss. I have long thought that Henny and Penny would be cute chicken names, but the last time I named a couple of chicks Henny and Penny they grew up to be Henry and Lil’ Red Rooster. This time around however, I know the receivers of these names are in fact ladies because they are now five months old and have started laying eggs. Ramon is also very fond of his new ladies. When I first introduced them, Ramon seemed to have forgotten his manners, but over the last couple of months he has remembered how to behave around a lady. He can often be heard calling the ladies over for a tasty treat he’s found in the grass or be seen standing guard, on alert with his head held high watching for potential dangers while his ladies scratch and peck around the yard. I’m not sure who’s more fond of our new little ladies, the roosters or me, but I do know that we are all glad that they have joined our flock!