Growing Girls


Dottie, our Silver-Laced Wyandotte and one of the Dominque pullets (I think it’s Mitzy, but I just call them “Twins” because I can’t tell the two of them apart very well!) enjoy a head of cabbage from the garden.

Our youngest trio of pullets have just passed the 16-week mark.  In chicken years, this makes them aging teenagers.  They are almost full-size and their combs and wattles are starting to grow.  These three will have what are known as “rose” combs; looking more like a sculpted blob of comb than the taller, scalloped single combs of our other 4 hens. Since most of our other hens have started laying between 19 and 22 weeks, this is the time when we start to watch for signs of laying.  We are not sure how much the waning daylight and cooling temperatures will influence their egg-laying start-up, however.

As much as I enjoy little chicks and those precarious early days, I think this stage is my favorite.  I confess I actually enjoyed my kids’ tumultuous teenage years too.  This is when their personalities come on strong and they start to to move in closer to flock life.  While they still stick together as a tight trio for protection, the braver ones are starting to move in to the bigger flock and volley for the choicest snacks.  They have become more proficient at roosting in the evenings, standing their ground or staying clear of any power struggles, and they actually get a bit more tame, the closer they get to laying too.

I am starting to wonder who will be the first to lay one of those sweet, little pullet eggs, and how the dynamic of our little flock will change once the new gals are competing for the nesting boxes too. I start to wonder what the eggs will look like (every one of our hens lays a slightly different shaped and colored eggs) and how regular they will be.  We’re pretty lucky with the laying rates of our current hens. While up to know, we’ve enjoyed their antics and emerging personalities, now we watch them really take their place among the flock!  Stay tuned…


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