On the farm in Holt, Missouri, we decided to try our hands at raising chickens. We
ordered 30 Cinnamon Queens out of Portland, Oregon. A Cinnamon Queen hen looks exactly
like a Rhode Island Red hen and the rooster is white which makes it easier to cull when
the time comes. We purchased an old hen house from the neighbors and Nigel built a run to keep
the chickens in the summer months because all of the neighbors had vegetable
In the winter months we would let
them roam free or what is called "free range chickens". The eggs that we received in the winter months,
their yolks were golden yellow and tasted fantastic. Those 21 hens produced so many eggs we gave
them away to the neighbors, the post man and anybody else that wanted them.
And in the small barn we had the rest of the menagerie which included peacocks (Prince
and Princess), turkeys (Gertrude and Heathcliff), geese (Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo), ducks (Dixie, Pixie
and Moe), goats (Sarah, Muffin, Kahn, North, South, Little East and West), rabbits (Chancer and Lilac), a
calf (Money), a Great Pyrenees (My Big Buddy) and our other two chickens, (Henrietta and Tucker).
Henrietta was an amazing chicken, she was a White Leghorn that would sit and hatch
out any egg. It did not matter if it was a chicken egg, goose egg, duck
egg, turkey egg or a peacock egg. She would diligently sit on them all until they hatched or
Nigel had to remove them because they weren't fertile. We had an old galvanized tub which we filled with straw
and we swear we never saw her anyplace else but in that tub. We know she had to get down and eat and drink but
we never hardly saw her do that. She just loved to sit on those eggs.
And then there's Tucker, a little feathered legged Croken banty rooster. He always
looked like he was wearing a set of bloomers when he ran around the farm. One funny story comes to mind,
Nigel's father was over one night and I was eight months pregnant with my daughter (Desiree) and he
decided to help me put up the animals for the night. He couldn't understand why one of the chickens was
trying to run away from him, but he finally caught the chicken. While taking it to the chicken coop he
could've swore it was begging him to put it back into the small barn. He went to put it in the
chicken coop and it ducked and ran underneath the coop. The next morning Nigel found Tucker in the
chicken pen waiting to be brought back to the small barn. I realized what had happened that night, my
father-in-law had mistaken Tucker for a Cinnamon Queen and Tucker knew that if he went out to the
chicken coop that he would get his butt kicked by the two large roosters that were there. Nigel said that
Tucker told him all the way back to the small barn about his big adventure the night before.
I know this doesn't have anything to do with chickens, but I wanted to mention domestic
ducklings cannot swim they become waterlogged and drowned. We found a wild female Mallard and named her
Dixie and brought her back to the farm where she tried to teach Pixie's and Moe's domestic ducklings to swim.
Not a good outcome.
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Click on these
chicken topics below
for more information on
Before Starting A Chicken Pen
Keeping Your Chickens Healthy
Hatching And Raising Chickens