The Farm keeps a mixed flock of chickens representing many different breeds. The chickens benefit from lots of fresh fruit and vegetables donated by Peterson's Market. You may notice large holes in the chicken yard which are excavated by the chickens. We put Diatomaceous Earth in these holes so the hens can have cleansing dust baths to clean their feathers.
Come see Orville, our new rooster. He's a Laced Wyandotte and quite handsome but he does seem a bit feisty.
Use this guide with pictures and brief descriptions of our birds to help you identify the different breeds when you come to the Farm. Should you want to learn more about any of the breeds, simply click on the breed name in the heading.
Orpingtons are heavily and loosely feathered birds which make them appear massive. Their feathering allows them to endure the Cape's cold winter temperatures better than some other breeds. They are always a solid color, black, blue, buff or white. Ours are mostly buff. They are at home on free range or in relatively confined spaces. Hens lay light brown eggs. They exhibit broodiness (will sit on eggs) and are good mothers. Orpingtons are very docile. Chicks are not very aggressive and are often the underdogs when several breeds are brooded together.
Crazy name, eh? Actually, cuckoo refers to the color of a chicken. It is one of 9 for the Maran breed. Marans are generally quiet but are quite active. They are tough and disease resistant. The breed is originally from France where were bred in marshy areas. As a result, they can cope well with the damp conditions of our marsh side farm. The hens lay about 150 extremely dark chocolate brown eggs per year.
Wyandottes are an American breed first appearing in the 1870's. Wyandottes come in a variety of colors, have a rose comb and yellow legs, and are beautiful. This makes them a popular show bird. They are a favorite among backyard flock owners for their dependable egg laying and easy going, docile nature. They lay large brown eggs. Wyandottes have a heavy body which makes them perfect for our cold New England climate.
The Dominique is the oldest American Chicken breed, developed in New England sometime during the colonial period. The Dominique is a calm and gentle bird that can be easy to show. Its docile temperament makes it a good family or backyard bird. Dominique hens are dependable and hearty layers of medium sized brown eggs even in marginal weather. The roosters can be aggressive toward humans and other roosters. The Dominique is a good looking bird with black and creamy white barred plumage patterns and a bright red rose comb. The birds' plumage pattern, known as "hawk coloring", offers some protection from aerial predators helping the bird survive in backyard and free range environments.
Despite the name, Polish chickens originate in the Netherlands, not Poland. Polish chickens are one of the most beautiful of all poultry, sporting large distinctive crests. They are an ornamental fowl with a surprising appearance. These beautiful birds are distinguished by an explosive topknot of feathers, usually in a contrasting color, which emerges from a protuberance atop the chicken's skull. It is important not to startle Polish chickens because their crests restrict their vision. Because of this restricted vision, the Polish chicken is quiet and gentle. Polish hens lay pure white eggs.
If you've been to the Farm lately, you may have noticed some new chickens. The new girls are Easter Eggers, hens that lay eggs that vary in color from blue to green to olive to aqua and sometimes even pink. Unlike our other chickens, Easter Eggers are not a breed, but sort of a mutt; a variety that does not conform to any standard. These hens are comfortable in the summer heat but also do well in the winter cold. They are quite friendly with children so they can be a great choice for a family flock.