Acquired: Rescue / shelter group
California, United States
Posted Dec 07, 2010
Henny Penny is one of my mother's chickens. She is taking a break from laying at the moments, since she is getting over a molt, but she usually lays one large, white egg every day. She will not let us hold her and if we even come near her she throws out her wings, squawks, and leaps out of the way. Mom says Henny Penny has even bitten her before. I've read that these chickens are friendly and tolerate handling but only if they are socialized with people at an early age. Aside from being very flighty, she is the alpha of the group since we have no rooster; although lately one of our Cinnamon Queens, Pick Pick, has be expressing a bit more dominance. She is now larger than Henny Penny and occasionally bumps her out of the way when we give them treats, so it's possible a shift in power on the horizon.
In all, California Whites are great layers; get a few of these and you won't have to buy eggs for a long time. They are good free rangers and are able to determine boundaries; ours has jumped the backyard fence out of fear but immediately returned and regrouped with the other two hens. I don't know if this is just the breed but when Henny Penny molts, she really molts. There was a period of two weeks when she looked more like a white buzzard than a chicken. She is also taking a long break and hasn't laid for at least two months. When they take a break from laying their comb and waddle shrink and become a little pale. We aren't sure when she will start laying again but her plumage is almost completely regrown so hopefully it will be soon.