We plan to have 55’s available for spring 2023! A follower on Facebook reached out and offered us a breeding pair. Unfortunately, before we picked them up the rooster had been killed by a predator. We have been setting her eggs aside in hopes a few may be fertilized and give us some babies. Yesterday [6/13/22] we popped them in the incubator and crossed our fingers.
About 55 Flowery Hen chickens
This autosexing chicken breed are prolific layers of large to extra large white eggs. These beautiful birds lay 250+ eggs a year.
55 Flowery Hens were created in 1955, hence the name, by Martin Silverudd, also the creator of the Isbar. The 55 Flowery Hen breed is derived from white and brown Leghorn chickens. If you have seen a Leghorn, you’ll note the 55 Flowery Hen breed resembles the body shape of the Leghorn, only a different color. Martin Silverrudd crossed White and Brown Leghorn to selectively tease out traits hidden by the dominant white.
All this work of crossing Leghorns resulted in easily sexed female chicks upon hatching. The females all have a dark chipmunk-like stripe down their backs.
The males have two smaller white stripes and tell-tale yellow spot atop their heads. As their true plumage comes in, 55 Flowery Hens intricate speckled plumage resembles that of Swedish flower hens, but with white flight feathers on the wing tips, and longest feathers on the tail.
The cock birds are mainly white as they mature, with yellow-to-brown freckles and faint barring on their white feathers.
Given our commitment to provide highly diverse poultry here at Wheaton Mountain Farm, we had been unable to source multiple lines of 55 Flowery Hen until a couple of weeks ago. Now with this girl, and thanks to a breeder in MI able to ship us 18 fertile hatching eggs [due to arrive [6/17/22] we can go back to our original plan of offering three autosexing breeds; Cream Crested Legbar, Bielefelder, and 55 Flowery Hen.
We also purchased three mature Bielefelder hens from the same farm as our mature 55 Flowery Hen, to keep her company. Where they had already been housed together it made the transition easy. They even gave us eggs the very next morning. Being the only mature hens on our farm, the 55 would have been very lonely, especially considering the isolated area the ultra-secure quarantine coop is located on our property.
I’m treating them as a completely separate biosecurity group, even though they came from an NPIP certified flock here in Maine. We have so much invested in just over a hundred newly-hatched chicks that the risk is too large to mess around with.