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Buff the Leghorn – what a difference in two months!

Posted by on Wednesday 2 March 2011 in chickens | 0 comments

This was Buff, our Leghorn chicken, at the end of December:

This is her now:

I hadn’t noticed how much her combs & wattles had grown until I saw the first picture in Google Image search while looking for leghorn pics so see if they all get such a floppy ‘do. They were tiny back then!

As I’ve muttered/complained about a number of times now, Buff hasn’t started laying yet. She was supposed to be around POL when we got her in November, which puts her at about seven months now so she should be kicking them out. She’s supposed to lay white eggs and since the rest lay brown ones, I think we’ll notice when she does start laying. We do get some paler eggs (for example, we got one today which made the producer bwark so loudly that I heard it up here!) which could be hers if she’s not a pure leghorn, but if that’s the case, it’s strange that in all the days of getting six eggs (from a total of seven girls), we’ve not had a single day of seven.

Her floppy wattle (which would be a good name for a band) and comb are redder on some days than others, but she’s not displaying any other signs of even thinking about squeezing one out – she runs away when I go near her rather than dropping, and the only time I see her in the nest box is when I’ve grabbed her (for a health check/powdering) and she goes in there to hide & complain. She’s really flighty compared to the others and I accidentally, literally, scared the poop out of her the other day by appearing on the path behind the run behind where she was perched. Squawk! Poop! Ran to the other side of the run.

From pictures I’ve seen, her comb & wattle aren’t that abnormally large for a girl leghorn – but possibly not one as young as her. And it’s apparently not uncommon for some leghorns to hold it in until they’re nine months old or so – especially over winter. But I have this fear – which I’ve alluded to before – that she’s a girl-who-thinks-she’s-a-boy or actually a boy, but aside from paranoia and her slightly louder voice, I’ve not seen anything to suggest that. At a guess, she’s very near the bottom of the pecking order and I’ve not seen her try anything on with any of the girls — until recently, she’s been on the other side of the run from them at all time.

Perhaps her low status in the team is inhibiting her. Perhaps her flightiness means she’s too anxious to get down to it. Perhaps she’s decided that egg laying isn’t for her. I’ll keep an eye on her but any advice/suggestions would be gratefully received!

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