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So after mulling and musing the other day, I went and grabbed the chicken-formerly-known-as-the-black-one. Definitely a much bigger, redder comb than the ameracauna hens, but as I was really paying attention, I finally realized that it was an entirely different kind of comb (yeah, there are different kinds, who knew?). I haven't really paid much attention since they were tiny, at which point they were all nubs and not really obvious what type. Ameracaunas have a pea comb (I misremembered when I called them walnut in my last post) and cochins have a single comb (like with the phoenixes, the kind of comb you think of when you think of a rooster). The black one's comb? Clearly a single comb at this point. And the tail? Extremely fluffy, which when they were younger seemed like it was growing longer, but at this point is clearly a cochin thing (they're very fluffy birds).

At this point, I decided to find some pictures of cochins. When the bird's feet turned yellow and started growing some feathers, the lady at preschool and I started hypothesizing it might be an ameracauna/bantam cochin hybrid, as the farm she got the eggs from had both (and in fact, she bought eggs of both). Additionally, as the other chickens of the same age have grown, the black one has stayed noticeably smaller. I'd briefly seen cochins when the preschool lady brought one of hers in, but I honestly couldn't remember what they looked like, so I hit the interwebs. Sure enough. The hens have a small size single comb, tiny wattles, and fluffy tail. None of them look anything like the black one in coloring, but the coloring is clearly that of an ameracauna, as the rooster and one of the other ameracauna hens look much the same, just with varying amounts of black and white.

So I guess I have eight hens (good thing I didn't pick up more chicks from the preschool lady). I'm extremely curious now what color eggs the black one is going to lay. She came in a greenish-blue ameracauna egg, but that's presumably because of the hen that laid her. So is she going to lay brown cochin eggs or be what's called an easter egger, an ameracauna hybrid that lays the colorful eggs despite the mixed heritage? Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out since her eggs are almost certainly going to be smaller.

The kids don't seem to have a particular favorite at this point, but I have to say I'm relieved to not have to eat the one they were so fond of as a chick.

October 2012

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