Well! With all this obsessing over the ducklings going on, the chickens have been feeling very neglected on the blog. And in fact, I haven't even introduced the four newest kids, who arrived a couple of weeks ago!
The English Muffs! Note the marvellous multi-coloured legs. Now, before your mind goes down some gutter, the Wikipedia definition of "muff" is as follows:
"A muff or beard is a mutation found in several chicken breeds which causes extra feathering under the chicken's face, giving the appearance of a beard."
These four cuties were given to me by a local breeder who has an extensive rooster/hen breeding programme. He is dedicated to preserving various rooster bloodlines (he doesn't use them for cockfighting, which last time I checked is illegal here.) His birds are the healthiest, most beautiful chicken specimens I have ever seen!
Jacques, a friend of my friend (who obviously vouched for me as a chicken-keeper) saw how much I admired his birds, and gave me these four hens for free! He told me if I ever want a rooster to match them, he'll give me one of those too. He called them English Muffs, but I think he may have meant they are Old English game hens (with muffs!), since I can't find an "English Muff" breed online.
These girls have beautiful upright tails that aren't shown off in these photos, but you can see Old English game hens here.
You know, it's crazy enough that I am getting extra hits on my blog because of an English dominatrix (who knocked me well out of my second-place Google ranking, damn her!) Now I'll be getting pervs looking for English booty... geez. My #1 search keyword is "Natalie Rowe." How long until it becomes "English muff"? Oh, prickly cucumber, how I miss you!
And remember poor Charlotte, who was unwell earlier this summer and sporting various bald spots?
Well, she went through an explosive moult and has grown back most of her feathers. She's looking quite nice, floppy comb aside, and has been acting like her normal self. She is often found roosting with the new kids...
But she's definitely above them in the pecking order, and lets them know it!
it's good to see her getting back to normal with her pretty new feathers.
And that's it from the coop. More ducklings soon!