Friday, April 9, 2010

Chicken of the Week: Lucretia

Since I first came up with the idea for a blog last year, I've wanted to do a weekly chicken feature. I had actually planned to post about one of my roosters, but it seems more appropriate to start with Lucretia. She was the most recognized hen among my egg customers, and many knew her by name because she laid every green egg I have delivered. As you might have guessed from the past tense, Lucretia is gone, and so this is a memorial of sorts. She died on Easter night (an unfortunate coincidence), but I don't know who the culprit was, though I suspect it was a fox.

Lucretia: 2008-2010

Two years ago I kept over a hundred chickens for a man while he upgraded their pens. He had two white hens that laid green eggs, and when I hatched out eggs, I made sure to include several of theirs. I only ended up with one chick out of those green eggs: Lucretia. (I debated about Lavinia and Loutoria before settling on that name, and she probably could have made a good Victoria due to a faint resemblance to that particular queen.) She must have taken after her father because she didn't look anything like the white hens, and she eventually got mixed up with some of my black and gold hens from another hatch that she resembled in all respects except for a very small comb (a pea comb) and a stockier build.

These were the best of four or five pictures I have of Lucretia from last spring.
I had planned on taking new ones this spring that would actually be in focus.

She was not overly sociable, but she wasn't irritable like the Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds can be, and she tended to broodiness (remaining on the nest). Lucretia would only lay for a few months at a time, but then when the mood struck she would produce an egg every one or two days reliably. She was often the last hen on the nest when I gathered eggs at the end of the day.

Lucretia's last egg was a large. This egg scale is just for display although it is accurate.
I will do a post on my scales, how they are used, and how I overcame my addiction to them later on.

I don't plan on my other weekly chicken posts to be so detailed, but since Lucretia was so completely one-of-a-kind, she was the easiest to observe of all my hens. I do hope to get some new Easter Eggers later this year, but I may not have any more green eggs until late 2010 or early 2011.

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