Chicken Surprise (not a recipe)

I think my high school cafeteria used to serve “tuna surprise,” and I want to assure you that I’m not eating my chickens. But I did get a nice surprise this morning!

I went out to let the chickens and guinea fowl out this morning before work, and was chatting with Fancy Pants, Bertie, and Gertie as usual, when I heard the sounds of some rooster-on-hen action going on. I turned my head to see Clarence working away on a black-and-white hen. Since I have three of those, I couldn’t tell who it was until the act was finished.

hen
There’s a reason I’m running, and it’s not to get a grasshopper.

Lo and behold, it was Hedley, the former Hedy, who I’d renamed because I thought they were a rooster. Well, I guess not, since neither of the other roosters has shown an interest in each other, which rules out rooster love. This is a real relief for me, since my hen to rooster ratio is already a bit off (need more hens). AND we have discovered that Gray Gertie is a guinea cock, not a guinea hen (based on his calls, and now his unfortunate hen-chasing behavior).

Gertie is a growing boy, so now poor Hedly has to run from both him and Clarence (and Bruce, who was lollygagging in the henhouse when I took this).

Now I know who’s laying the white eggs, too, since Hedley is way bigger than Henley, the other Ancona hen, who has a pink comb (for those of you keeping notes). It’s always something with these guys. At least all is well in the world of Big Red, the hen who is a member of the horse herd.

rooster
I’m a horse. A shiny red horse.

I got this photo of her yesterday, running over to the water bucket when she realized it was her favorite time of day: when the water is fresh and full for her easy access. That is one pampered solo hen, with her special feed bag of treats and water bucket.

I hear running water!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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