Tired of Rescuing Chickens

This started last night. When I came home, my normally energetic hen, Ginger, was not herself. She was listless and full. She even let me pick her up and hold her.

I was immediately worried she had a reproductive problem, since the high egg-production breeds get them. when I set her down, Clarence, the large Rhode Island Red rooster, got on her and would not stop. She didn’t seem to take it as well as hens usually do.

So, that was it for Clarence, and he is now a free-range guard rooster. Thanks to Chris for getting him out.

Let me in!

When I got home today, Ginger was the same, and had not laid an egg. I decided to put her in the old guinea cage where she will be safe from Bruce (who is not very into the ladies yet).

As I went to move her, damned Clarence busted into the pen. I hadn’t closed the door well enough. He immediately jumped on Ginger and she let out a horrible sound. I dove for Clarence, once more forgetting that there is sharp wire partway down the opening between pens.

It’s blurry, but that’s my hair on that metal. We will fix this issue.

After I scraped my head open, I tossed Clarence out rather unprofessionally. I was pretty mad. But, I got Ginger in the pen with food and water, so no one can pester her. I’m guessing she’s egg bound or something. I have no way to help.

Fancy Pants is checking up on her coop buddy.

Clarence has water and food, plus an endless supply of grasshoppers, so he’ll be fine. There’s even a coop for him at night.

Since he flies well, I’m not too worried about him.

Gratuitous picture of the black and white chickens.

And I got the blood out of my hair. The wound was not fatal! Later, I slammed a gate on myself. Stress does make you clumsy, I think.

Ginger Hen Genetics

I couldn’t remember the breed of chicken our new brown one, Ginger, was. I knew if I just saw it, I’d remember, but it wasn’t listed on the Bird and Bee Farm website.

Not only am I cute, I’ll lay a bunch of eggs.

Chicken-loving friends to the rescue! Cheryl pointed out on Facebook that she is an ISA Red. I got her so that I’d have at least one high producer, and they are fine looking gals. Here’s what Cheryl posted:

Such pretty ladies! I think Ginger might be an ISA Brown. Great egg production, but not as long-lived as many other breeds.


I wondered what ISA is and why they are short lived. I looked it up! Tractor Supply said:

ISA Browns are one of the top sellers in the industry because of the number of eggs they lay and their calm demeanor. Their eggs have excellent shell quality and texture. This especially sweet, docile, gentle bird, is extremely easy to work with and are great birds for new chicken owners or young families. ISA Browns produce almost an egg every day and do well either in confinement or free ranged. Hens begin to lay around 4-5 months of age with adequate daylight hours. When they are hatched, the pullets are red and the cockerels are white for this color sex-able sex-link.


What is ISA?

She’s figured out the coop!

ISA stands for Institut de Sélection Animale, the company which developed the crossbreed in 1978 for egg production as a battery hen. They are very popular in large egg production places. Glad Ginger is a free bird!


As always, the high egg yield is detrimental to the long-term health of the hen. The ISA is one of several breeds developed for high egg yield at the expense of longevity and natural reproduction.


Well, she’s pretty and reminds me of our old red chickens, who were also sex-linked hybrids. Long live Ginger!

She and Bertie have the feeder figured out!