ALBC Breed Finder Helps Add Laying Hen to the Backyard

| 11/4/2011 12:04:00 PM

A photo of the author, Caleb ReganLast Saturday, thanks to the ALBC breed finder, we headed out to the home of GRIT and MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Margaret Kramar to pick up a replacement hen for the wonderful layer we lost in the 113-degree heat this past summer.

Margaret and her family were a pleasure to talk to, and in this business you often don’t get the opportunity to interface directly with readers; it’s such a nice alternative to emailing and phone conversations.

Here’s our new little Hamburg hen (speckled, pretty, smaller bird on the left). She was just hatched this past spring, so I'm glad to get her in her first year. There was a little scuffling and establishing pecking order in the first few minutes, but when I went out later that first night with a flashlight, our two hens were roosted right next to one another in the coop on the same roosting bar. I think now it's safe to call them buds.

Speckled Hamburg on the left, and Dorking on the right. 

We’ve never named our hens, not for any other reason than we have two different breeds, so they are simply: the Hamburg and the Dorking. I really don’t buy into the if-you-name-it-you-won’t-want-to-eat-it philosophy, so maybe these girls end up with a name at some point.

Our chickens are laying hens, definitely, but a few years from now we will end up stewing them as well. I’ll probably have to take them away from the house and wife for the processing, since it’s not the most pleasant thing for anyone to process the animal they raise, but it’s completely necessary in my opinion.

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