In this chicken runs and coops article I would like to share some observations I made on the different varieties of hens I keep in my chicken runs and coops. They all have unique exercises within their separate varieties.
Observation was done over a period of a week in the morning, noon, and evening. I observed the hens for about one hour each observation period to check for temperaments to see if they were friendly, skittish, noisy, aggressive, or docile. And in the evening observation I made sure to concentrate on the hen house coop area as well as the time in the morning observation.
The ancona hen is an average size medium hen that is a good egg laying producer. The eggs are the large white variety. The ancona are very noisy and could be described as wild, restless and flighty.
This particular hen is also medium sized and a very good egg producer. The egg size is large and the egg color is brown. I would classify the temperament of these hens very friendly and can be handled easily.
The barnevelders are a medium sized chicken that produces eggs a little less than the previous hens but still considered a decent egg layer. The eggs are brown in color and of medium size. This breed handles confinement well they are docile in nature.
The Leg horn hens are medium in size and have a high egg producing nature. The eggs the leg horn lays are large in size and are white in color. The temperament of the leg horns are noisy, flighty, and shy in nature. Handling leg horns are a challenge but not dangerous. The leg horns do very well with other hens in confinement.
I started my observation when the sun was just rising for the first 3 days. I observed that only a couple of my hens were in the chicken run the others were still in the hen house. I noticed the Barnevelder and the Australorps tended to be the two that were first out the 3 mornings. The next 4 mornings, I thread out some fresh feed at the start of my observation and each day the number and speed of hens that came out increased with each day. The temperament of the hens looks very low key as long as plenty of feed is thrown in the run. The less feed thrown I found a little pecking going on from time to time.
At midday I checked on the hens and approached the chicken coop run. My observation was that the hens followed their typical trait actions the hens that have docile hits were docile and the flighty hens were flighty at approach to the chicken run. Even though chickens are good pets and get used to the people that surround them frequently the first reaction upon approach of any person or possible predator is their natural trait instinct. The hens were at different parts of the run, some on the half cut logs I set at different sections of the run some on a 2 “x4” perch I installed, and some hunting and pecking for food. They all appeared at peace with no problems.
I made my last observation as the sun was starting to go down. The hens were looking to find their way back to the hen house for the evening. The one thing I found interesting was that the Barnevelder and the Australops were the last to go into the hen house. I am going to buy another set of each and see if it is the character of the breed of if the two hens have just made a connection. These are only a few of the observations I made of my chicken runs and coops. I hope they were helpful for the new and veteran chicken ranchers.