Time and Temp


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• African daisies
• California Poppy
• Calendula
• Calla Lily
• Narcissus
• Lavander
• Ivy geranium
• Mexican Sage
• Pride of Madera
• Lantana
• Society garlic
• Wild geranium


• Baby arugula
• Onion and garlic greens
• Thyme
• Rhubarb
• Parsley
• Strawberries


Our Hens



“Daisy” is a fluffy Buff Orpington. A big, beautiful blond. Sweet, tame, the first to greet us, the first to be on our laps when we sit nearby. She is somewhat “motherly” to the other hens, although she’ll never hatch eggs and be a mother because we have no rooster. She was the first to lay an egg and has laid an egg every day for the first three months of her adulthood. If I had to pick one breed of chicken for a backyard hen project, I’d pick Buff Orpingtons. Daisy died at the age of 5 1/2 years. She remained sweet, friendly, and calm her whole life. We miss her.



“Sweetpea” is just as her name implies. A cuddler by nature, she’s the only hen who will sit still for any length of time, sometimes closing her eyes and enjoying the lap of a human as her coop-mates hop off and on human knees. Her breed, Barred (or Plymouth) Rock, are known to be good layers of light-brown eggs, steady and quiet hens. If you look carefully at Sweetpeas’s comb, you can see a chunk missing in the back. One of the other hens became annoyed with Sweetpea, pecked her, and tore off a piece of her comb. We encourage Sweetpea to stand up to the Wyandottes but it is not in her nature. At age six now, she is still friendly and gets along well with her two younger companions, Penny and Ginger.



“Poppy” is strickingly beautiful. A Silver-laced Wyandotte with black and white feathers, she is also the most temperamental of our six hens (see story “A Problem Chicken”). Poppy likes to have her back scratched by humans since there is not rooster around to do it for her. She is still high-strung and has a tendency to chase the chickens that are lower on the “pecking order”. Poppy lays beautiful light-brown eggs. She passed away at the age of five.





“Rosie” is our little Rhode Island Red. No flock is complete without this standard breed. She lays eggs that are medium brown in color. Rosie is our little “chow hound”. When we are in the garden, she watches our every move, hoping we’ll find a tidbit such as a snail or a potato bug for her to devour. She grabs food away from the other hens and if we carry in a bowl of treats to the hens, she will jump into the air to reach for it. She reminds us of our “late” Chocolate Labrador Retriever who would do anything for food. Rosie is now “late” herself. She died in early January 2011 (see “Rosie Passed Away”). I can’t bear to take her picture off this site because she was so much a part of our flock. We miss her. I would like to get another Rhode Island Red. They are consistent layers and good pets.




The name “Petunia” sounds so sweet and Petunia looks sweet. But Petunia is not! She is the most timid of all the hens and is quick to run if we reach to pick her up. The pretty Golden-laced Wyandotte is quick to snap at other hens and can be downright cruel to Rosie and Sweetpea, pecking their heads if they come too close. Petunia could best be described as “edgy”, but she is a part of the flock and remarkably beautiful. Petunia was one of those chickens that caused such chaos in the coop that we made the difficult decision to re-home her. See the story of Petunia’s new home here.



“Tulip” was one of the first three chicks we bought. She was (and still is) an observer. She watches the other hens, the humans, and is ever alert to danger. Her Ameraucana breed is known for laying blue or green eggs. Tulip’s are a light olive-green, very subtle and “tasteful” in color. Tulip usual lets the other hens eat first. She is in no hurry to grab a snack. She is the first, however, to dip her beak into the yogurt bowl. Tulip loves yogurt and cottage cheese. Tulip passed away on April 26, 2012, after suffering from a common disease of hens called egg yolk peritonitis. She was very pretty and very dear.



Penelope and Ginger

“Penelope”, who we call “Penny”, and “Ginger”, came to us at about five months of age. Our neighbor, Jacob, raised them as a school project. Jacob did not know that they were laying eggs because they were “free ranging” in his yard and were good at hiding them. We were down to two old hens so I was glad to have these wonderful young layers. It was hard for Daisy and Sweetpea to accept these two young “upstarts”. The young hens had to sleep on a lower roost and wait until the two older hens had finished eating at the “treat bowl” before they could approach. It took about three weeks before things settled in.