Erica

In Brief

last updated 27.10.13

Hatched: 18th November 2010

Weight: 3.20 kg

Breed: Rhode Island Red

Current Status: not laying

Total number of eggs: 395
Biggest egg: 69 g
Smallest egg: 45 g
Average weight: 57.6 g

Erica at three days old

The Arrival

One more member of The Horde, Erica was, we thought for an embarrassingly long time, a boy. Referred to as Eric (aka “Little Red”, as she had the red leg ring), she was a very boisterous chick – yet another reason why we thought she was an Eric for so long. Never much of a one for cuddles, but quite happy to hop on to my lap and try to gain access to my pockets, just in case I had grain stashed in there (which I did, fairly often.)

Erica’s eyesThe Eyes

Erica isn’t exactly a pretty girl. She has very large – and slightly odd-shaped – eyes, and always gives the impression that she’s looking askance. We originally weren’t going to keep her, but Sasha was so lovely, and they were such good mates, that we decided another Red Nutter could only add to the ambience of the flock … and as far as personality goes, she is well within our range of “normal”. Not an out-and-out nutter like her mother, or shy and retiring like … actually I don’t think we have anyone who fits that category. Dorothy, maybe? Anyhow, not like that. She seems to consider humans as a sort of necessary nuisance …

Erica’s first egg 10 June 2011Laying

Erica laid her first egg on June 10th, 2011, on the same day as Holly. Which was comforting – the usual wisdom is that pullets who don’t start laying in autumn will hold off laying their first egg until the days start to lengthen. But no, Miss Noodle (and her nest-mate, Holly) both began their laying careers in early winter. (To be fair, quite a few of our girls do seem to do that.) She was outgunned by Sasha in the laying stakes for her pullet year, but was Layer of the Year in 2012. Having said that, she’s been off the lay now for the best part of six months. She was the first back in to lay after moulting, but stopped again as soon as the other hens started laying. No idea why. She does occasionally go and sit in the nestbox for a bit, but I think that’s mainly just to mess with us. It will be interesting to see if she starts laying again after this moult, or if she is taking early retirement.

Erica, looking like Erica, November 2011And

It’s hard to know where Erica fits into the pecking order. Holly and Gabby both boss her around, as do Poppy, Lily, Claire and Ella. She bosses Dorothy (more “persecutes” than “bosses”, if we’re being honest), and chases Saffy and Charlotte in a desultory sort of way. There’s definitely something of the Gallic Shrug about her. Nothing disturbs her too much (although she has a couple of disapproving semi-shrieks for times when we pick her up and she doesn’t wish to be handled), and she’s often the first to leave the feed dishes and go for a bit of a wander to see if anything better has been left on the other side of the run. (In other words, she’s a typical, opportunistic, scrounging Rhodie …)Erica and Claire, Nov 2013

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