The Hotel with Backyard Chickens

At Carmel Valley Ranch, the hens host a chicken chat.

They are “the girls of the ranch.” The 12 brown-egg-laying chickens who occupy the Hen House are the stars of spring. We’d love to give them names, says their caretaker and Carmel Valley Ranch activities manager, Megan Bowers. But with only two breeds—the Rhode Island Red and Plymouth Rock—it’s challenging to tell them apart… short of putting name tags on their feathery chests.

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Do all the girls in the coop play nice? “It’s a great mix of energy,” Bowers says. Plymouth Rocks can be broody. They sit on their eggs. The Reds, on the other hand, are more curious. Chickens definitely have personalities, Bowers says, a fact that surprised her when she installed her own backyard flock of four. “They have an unexpected capacity to be very sweet. One of mine, Polly, when I come home from work, she run up to me to say hi.”

The girls at the ranch eat more kale than a Hollywood A-lister, not to mention other leftover veggies grown in the garden.

All they have to do in return? Lay an egg, if they want. Oh, and be the stars of the “Chicken Chat.” Guests can wander over at 10 every morning, and tune in.

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