Sweet Sassy is a Golden Laced Wyandotte. This striking breed originated from the state of Wisconsin in 1880. She lays eggs that are light brown and is a show chicken who gets a little nervous during showtime. Sassy has beautiful, distinct black lined and black tipped golden feathers. Her comb is of the rose style. Sassy is now a retired show hen. She used to get very nervous in the show environment. Her best job is being the second bossiest hen in the school coop. What feather patterns she has!
Our dear Vanilla is a Delaware chicken. She arrived at Moss Haven Farm in summer 2016 and quickly established herself as queen of the castle. Vanilla has participated in several shows. Her mostly white feathers are extremely hard to keep clean, but she loves chicken baths before each show. Vanilla lays brown eggs.
Moss Haven Farm’s Cuckoo Maran is Lucy. The breed was developed in France in the mid 1800s in the town that bears its name, Maran. Lucy has a limp, but don’t worry as she is just as able to jump up on her roost as the other hens in the coop.
Peaches is Moss Haven Farm’s only Ameraucana chicken and had 18 brothers and sisters when she was hatched at Moss Haven Elementary School. The color of her eggs are blue (although many seem to be more a shade of green). Ameraucanas have feathers around their faces called muffs and a beard. They come in many colors.
Sweetie and Black Opps
Sweetie and Black Opps are two older hens that both have a mixed heritage. They were both hatched by a Moss Haven Kindergarten class several years ago with 18 other chicks. They do have some Ameraucana breeding as you can tell by their muffs and beard. Look at how different their feathers look. They don’t lay many eggs now because of their age, but we love them anyway.
Skylar joined the school coop in the summer of 2018. She is a wonderful and calm show hen and the only Rhode Island Red breed in the flock. Can you guess what state this breed is named for? This breed is known for its abundant brown egg production. Their feather color should be dark reddish brown.
Henrietta is a member of the Orpington breed (she is a Buff Orpington). The Orpingtons originated in England in the 1800s. Her comb is not a perfect example of the straight single comb she should be sporting, but we still love and show her.
Amelia Eggheart and Midnight
Joining the coop in the summer of 2018 are our only Black Ameraucana hens. These two beauties are sisters. At their first show at the State Fair of Texas they came in first and second place for their breed. These gals also lay blue eggs. Look how shiny their feathers are in the sun.
Our only Jersey Giant hen is Luna. Can you see how her black feathers also show colors of green and blue especially when she is in the sun? This breed originated in the state of New Jersey. Luna was awarded Champion in her breed classification (American) at a March 2019 show. She has been a member of the flock since 2017.
- Our flock has won several ribbons from both the State Fair of Texas and North Texas Poultry Showcase. The chicken handlers at these events are members of the Moss Haven 4H Club and students at Moss Haven Elementary.
- At the 2016 State Fair of Texas, the Moss Haven 4H Club entered the egg contest for contents. Contents means the judge cracks open the eggs and examines them for freshness and yolk color. Out of all the entries for Standard eggs and Bantam sized eggs, the Moss Haven Farm egg won Best of Show. This winning egg had a deep orange yolk color.
- Brown eggs (or any other colored eggs) are not more nutritious than standard white eggs from the grocery store. What makes eggs more nutritious is what a hen eats. Eating bugs and grass make eggs “eggstra” healthy.
- All our hens are Standard size, not Bantam size. Bantam chickens are smaller than Standard.
- Free range, pasture raised and certified organic are the best eggs to buy at the grocery store for the humane treatment of hens in the United States.
- A “Pullet” is an immature female chicken that is less than one year old.
- A “Hen” is a mature female chicken that is over one year old.
- A “Cockerel” is an immature male chicken that is less than one year old.
- A “Rooster” is a mature male chicken that is over one year old.
- In 2015, 18 chicks were hatched at Moss Haven Elementary School. A Kindergarten class took care of the chicks, then several chicks went to live at the Moss Haven Farm coop. There were nine “Cockerels” and nine “Pullets” in that group.
- It takes 21 days for incubated fertilized chicken eggs to hatch.
Before Installing a Coop:
- Check city regulations for chickens. Consider your neighbors. Consider coop size, placement in yard, expense to buy or build, place for feed storage.
- Not all dogs are ok with chickens and predators love chickens.
Consider time to enjoy, clean the coop, gather eggs, and feed your chickens.
- Consider heat tolerance when buying chickens. Some breeds don’t do well during the Texas summer.
- Consider chicken care when you are on vacation and any ER situations.
- Educate yourself and connect with veteran hen keepers.