Saturday, October 23, 2010

My First Poultry Show

A-HA! So you thought I could not go to an animal show without coming home with something, huh?  Well you would be............RIGHT!

This isn't my chicken, but it is a Buff Brahma Bantam (say that 3 times fast), the same kind I came home with..

More about her later, but I will say that my first poultry show was a lot of fun, and DID help me with the "county fair" fix I needed.    There were all kinds of birds there, one goat (!) and even a few rabbits and kittens!   Most of the birds were bantams, probably outnumbering the large fowl by 3 to 1. There weren't too many surprises there, since I have been reading so much about chickens.  The  large fowl are really big, (and kind of scary, especially the rooster spurs as big as my little finger!) and I was surprised at how big the ducks were - nearly the size of geese!  

Of course my eye was drawn to the small, cute, and impractical.  The Call ducks were adorable, but noisy.  I could easily pass up a lot of the breeds - pretty, but not for me.  I wanted to see Wyandottes, since that is what the guy who taught our backyard chicken class recommended.   There were only 3 or 4 standards, and maybe 10 bantams.  The owner of the bantams I talked to said they do lay well, but will peck you a lot.  He didn't have any for sale.   Americuanas were tremendously popular - in both sizes.  

One lady I talked to with bantam Cochins said they were very easy keepers, and most were kept in (reasonably sized) cages, rather than free-range or in a run with a shelter.  She said those and the Brahmas are as docile as puppies, love to be held, and tolerate cooping very well.   (wheels turning) 

I walked through the "for sale" tent, and there were a few I liked, but no one wanted to break up pairs.  Then I convinced one good 'ol boy that the "pair" of bantams he had in one cage didn't even match.  The hen was a Buff Brahma, and the cock a Partridge (Cochin? I forgot to look).  "OK," he said, "I'll let you have just the hen."  

I stopped at Versailles Feed on the way home, and explained I just had the one chicken, and could I get feed in anything less than 50 pounds?   "Sure," she said, then (with a perfectly straight face) she asked "will this be a house chicken?"  I admitted it would, and she sold me 5 pounds of laying mash and a pound of grit ($1.27 - cheap pet).

I got home to find a "Premier" catalog in my mailbox, and felt like a real farmer!  (no snorting from you real farmers!)   The hen is a sweet little thing and is currently housed in one of my rabbit transport carriers. (those have come in SO handy)  I already had cages on the way because I wanted to replace the cages my Angora does are in.  Their old cages, after scrubbing and disinfecting, will be the hen's new home, with urine guards installed to (help) hold in the bedding shavings.

She has been with the rooster (and her worn back feathers show it) so ideally she would lay a clutch of eggs, go broody, hatch them and I would have my handful of bantams.  But, Brahmas aren't good layers, and are not particularly broody, so that is unlikely.  I think for my first chicken, the small bantam and gentle nature of the Brahma are a good choice.  Any suggestions for names?


  1. "House chicken" -- that's a new one for me!

  2. Great blog!! It is quite interesting and I enjoyed a lot.

    Wheels For Sale

  3. I found your blog off Hug A Sheep Day. What caught my eye was the name Wren Cottage and that you are in Kentucky. Is there a story behind the name of your place? I'm curious because my name is Wren and it's not real common.

    You can zip me an email to if you want.

  4. why an intervention?? This is great! If you can keep up with everyone's needs, why not? Sounds like you have a pretty big happy family these days. Enjoy!