Frida

In Brief

last updated 3.10.09

Hatched: 10th October 2007

Weight: 2.33 kg

Breed: Silver Grey Dorking

Current Status: recovering from broken leg & laying

Total number of eggs: 293
Biggest egg: 66 g
Smallest egg: 27 g
Average weight: 56.5 g

The Arrival

We didn’t intend to keep Frida. We’d agreed when we got the eggs that we would keep one of the Peep girls, and Lily took that spot very early on. But …

Frida, 19 days old

Little orange leg-ring was exactly as the photo suggests. Cute as they come, and utterly fearless. She was the one who would fly up onto the top of the hay bales, or onto your lap and sit there tapping at your pockets, to see if you were hiding mealworms or similar.

33 days old

She was named for the Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo – she struck me as having that sort of fierce, proud spirit. By the time she was three weeks old or so, we were starting to look at each other and say things like maybe we could keep one more girl …

So our flock of Peeps grew to three. For a little while Madame Cholet (Dorking Purple) made a strong bid to unseat either Lily or Frida by coming and sitting on our laps.

Lily and Frida

(Which was one reason why we were so pleased when Nicola said she would like to take the plunge into chicken ownership!) But Frida just stayed the same bright, curious, determined little darling, and we gave in to the inevitable.

Laying

Despite Lily colouring up first in the comb and wattle department, it was Frida who laid the first egg of our bubs. Valentine’s Day 2008. Jo came home to find the girls in a state of excitement and a little white egg lying in the doorway of the Summer Palace. It took about a week for us to gather enough eggs from each to be certain (shape and colour tend to be fairly individual, although the variations can be quite small). But yes, our Frida was a laying pullet. At five months old!

She laid really well – amazingly well for a pullet. She was the top layer in March – 29 eggs in 31 days.

And then she went broody.

And

As it happened, the broodiness wasn’t much of a problem, although it was disconcerting given her age. We just kept taking her out of the nestbox and shutting her in the run. We were worried that she would fix on being broody during the few days we were away, taking Cholet and Jenny down to Dunedin to Nicola, but in fact she snapped out of it in our absence. (You get that, sometimes.)

Poor girl was the bottom of the pecking order – Poppy had picked on her from the first time they were put together as 6 week old chicks, and a little thing like Frida getting some laying-mojo wasn’t able to change that. And when the two flocks were merged, she became the target of Ella and Venus’s frustrations. But she was (and is) a tough girl, and manages just fine.

She’s back to laying (had a couple of month off, which was more a relief than anything else) and is one of our best layers – competing with Venus! And although she’s not as friendly as she was as a bub, she is still pretty fearless, and not above flying up to Jo’s shoulder if she feels like a bit of elevation. Keeping her was definitely the right move. She’s our kind of chicken.

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