There are an infinite variety of feathers … and even within breeds, each hen has a unique pattern, though we’d be hard pressed to spot some of their differences!


Gold-laced Wyandotte … buff coloured feathers with a black edge. (The Silver-laced Wyandotte has white feathers with a black edge and looks very striking indeed … perhaps another time?)


The CouCou (Cuckoo) Maran has barred feathers … rather like the Cuckoo after which it’s named, or the breast feathers of a Sparrowhawk.


The Blue Maran has these delicately laced grey feathers with a darker edge, and see how the buff/brown develops in the ruff feathers.


The Sussex has dark feathers on ruff, tail and wing tips … Carey’s are quite striking, while Clare’s are less marked …


There is also a Speckled Sussex which has a different colouring altogether … and which I should love to see in the garden one day.

But even the run-of-the-mill brown ex-batt has a vast range of feathering …


I noticed Betsy has these beautiful white-laced gold-edged feathers in her ruff, and that her new feathers (still not fully grown) are mottled dark and light …


I do hope that once her feathers are fully through she will perk up, as she’s clearly still not feeling 100%. Any hen, even ex-batts, can change colour after a moult … the same but with these subtle differences.


I have always struggled to tell our bantams apart … we had one (that we recently lost) with a golden ruff that was easily identifiable. But of our remaining bantams, there are three with quite pale ruff feathers, and two with darker and I have no idea which is which!

I’m not sure I could tell the Vicarage girls apart without the leg rings …


… though on careful study their combs are all slightly different.


But there are other ways to tell who is who … if you spend time with hens, you soon realise that they each have their own individual characters. So hopefully the rain will hold off a little longer and I can sit a while with the girls and a pocket full of corn 🙂

Bertha's distinctive feathering

Now which hen is this?!



Next Post
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

  • The Hen House Archive

    Our original hen keeping adventure came to an end in January 2013, when a fox took our entire brood of hens. But don’t let that put you off … you can find the story at The Hen House Archive where there are still lots of stories, photos, and information about keeping hens I hope you'll find useful.

    March 2017 ... All change in the hen garden as the fruit cage run is retired in favour of an electric fence, the veg beds are relocated to put the hens on fresh ground, and the new girls arrive, Dorcas, Delilah and Deanna.

    January 2017 ... Bird flu outbreak and all domestic foul are quarantined until the end of February.

  • Hen Pics

  • Hen Topics

  • Hen Archive

  • Hen Visitors

    • 20,554 clucks
  • Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 199 other followers

  • Advertisements