Archive for August, 2015

Crowing About Our New Additions

For those of you who haven’t stopped in yet this summer, you have been missing the sound of crowing and clucking in the Village.  Through the generosity of two benefactors, Heritage Village Museum has three new hens and one rooster.  The Village once again has some low maintenance, historically correct fauna as both breeds date to the 19th century.

chickens 1

Our three hens are of the Barred Plymouth Rock breed.  This is the same breed that we had before.  The Plymouth Rock breed was first exhibited as a breed in 1869.  The barred feather pattern was the original appearance of the breed.  They are hailed as one of the best all-around chicken varieties for the farm.  They are a docile and hardy breed.  Plymouth Rocks have been used throughout their existence as both an egg layer and for meat.  The Village’s Plymouth Rocks were hatched in May.  We hope to see eggs appear soon as they begin laying as early as 20 weeks.   If you see them while they are out roaming the grounds around Elk Lick, chances are they are loafing in the sun, scratching under the vineyard, or if you’re lucky, perched on the picket fence watching the world go by.

rooster

Our Rooster can trace his roots to being a Silver Duckwing American Game Bantam.   Originally bred for the cock fighting pit in the 1890s, they quickly became a show breed as well.  As a bantam, you may notice he is a little smaller than our Plymouth Rock hens.  That shouldn’t hurt egg production as they are known as being quite fertile, vigorous and alert.  In fact, you can catch him “crowing” just about any time of the day.  Bantams have a reputation as being “feisty”.  Luckily, ours is a lot more “laid-back”.  While being vigilant and alert, our rooster has a shy streak to him.  He is often the first to walk away when feeling crowded.

Next time you come in for a visit, make sure you check to see if the henhouse door is open.  If so, stroll around Elk Lick House’s grounds, chances are you will get to meet our chickens in their “natural setting”.  Please admire from a distance so as not alarm them.  If you would like an introduction, see staff or volunteers for details.   The chickens coming back to roost at Elk Lick only adds to the realism and authenticity of your experience in visiting this historic home.