The farm is home to a variety of heritage chickens lovingly cared for by our son. Some–the ameraucana, and lavender ameraucana breeds–lay lovely blue eggs, while others like the maran lay chocolate-brown speckled eggs. The chickens and friendly roosters add personality and colour to the lavender fields, as they strut around the grounds. Also included in our flock are Betty and Patty, Plymouth Rocks; Ingrid, a Silver Spangled Hamburg; and Avis, a white Leghorn who won several junior poultry club championships last summer for our son.
Meet Edith, Esther, and Eileen! These lovely, friendly hens are lavender Ameraucanas; they came from Texas as eggs, and hatched last spring. The Ameraucana breed was derived from blue-egg laying chickens. They have muffs and a beard, are very hardy, and have a sweet disposition. They lay eggs in shades of blue, and even have blue (or “slate”) legs. This breed is still quite rare, and the lavender variety even more so. The Ameraucana (popularized as Americana) was developed in the USA from the non-standard “Easter Egger” chicken, whose ancestors were South American Araucanas. It was accepted as an official breed in 1984. According to the Ameraucana Breeders Club, “Ameraucanas are first and foremost blue egg layers. They must have “pea combs,” and be bearded and muffed and tailed, and cannot have any tufts.” The Lavender Girls are lovely hens, and the perfect addition to the lavender fields!
Sherman, Clifford and Abner are three roosters that live at Steed and Company. We are very fortunate with our boys because at two years old, they all get along! We have spent much time getting to know our birds and have discovered they have an incredible timing sense. Since our roosters were chicks, our son has been treating them to raisins, Cheerios and other delicious treats. They now come charging to a whistle, shake of the treat bag, or the sight of our son. Remarkably, these chickens—led by the roosters—come to the house everyday about half an hour before the school bus arrives, because they know who’s on it!