Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 182 – A chick of a different color

A few weeks back, we went to a State Fair and saw cows sporting this type of decorative coat.

I was amazed. I’d seen white and black cows before but I hadn’t seen any with such distinctive coloring. “The gray around each spot was actually the black pigmented skin showing through the white hair.”, an owner of one such cow explained to me, “The shades of gray are considered highly desirable.”

It always amazes me when I finally see something right in front of me that seems to have been so darn obvious but until then was not noticed. When someone points out a difference that is really an individual sign of beauty.

Like the colors of chickens. Until we became chicken owners I hadn’t really thought about it. The extent of my chicken color knowledge was:

Red – from the Little Red Hen (and I actually imagined them as fire-engine red chickens)
White – a la Foghorn Leghorn
Brown – as in any farm animal book from my youth

No where was I taught about white chickens with black spots, or tan, black, and white speckled chickens, or even salmon colored birds. Instead I was taught that all chickens look and act alike, they are, after all, simply farm animals.

Now that we have chickens I can see that even in what we had thought were “plain Jane” brown ones there are exquisite variations, feather patterns that vary from hen to hen, shades of colors fading and blending into each other. A patch looking like it was kissed by the sun on one’s back, tips of feathers dipped in a swirl of caramels and toffees on another.

And in our case, the colors of our birds – the differences they create which when combined make up our flock of a different color are the shades of individual beauty we all cherish and consider nothing short of highly desirable.



Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Project Chickens before the Eggs, The Family

3 responses to “Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 182 – A chick of a different color

  1. Suddenly Jamie (@suddenlyjamie)

    Lovely, Wendy.
    When I was at the Topsfield Fair this year, I spent an inordinate amount of time in the fowl barn. Inspired by all I’d read about your chickens, I was eager to see these beautiful birds up close. They didn’t disappoint. Though I was saddened to see them huddled in their tiny cages (and hoped they had free range at home), I was glad to be able to see such an amazing array of diversity in one place. The sizes, shapes, colors, and textures were like the most expansive artist’s palette ever. And I swear, they were watching us as closely as we watched them.

    • wethomas

      It’s a whole new world out there isn’t it? And to think just a short 1.5 years ago I had no idea it even existed.

      Good for you for checking out the chickens, the next step is to get the henhouse built and then……..

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