Friday, August 20, 2010

Chicken is a four-letter word....LOVE

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?? In my case, it's really a matter of which came first, the fiber or the animals?? Truth be told, I was born an animal lover...its's just in my genes. First, it was dogs then fish and conures and now it's chickens. Every day. All day. 24/7. And to make matters worse, my husband is a chicken fanatic, too.

Our first batch of chickens arrived by mail in February 2007 during The Big Ice Storm. I was totally panicked about them arriving (gulp!) alive, because everyone was without or on the verge of losing power. And, day-old chicks need to be kept warm. Well, they did arrive safely and here they are today...
Chickens waiting for their evening treat.
Because I was chicken ignorant up to that point, I thoroughly researched different breeds. I knew I wanted brown-egg layers, but they had to be friendly and big enough to take on a barn cat (if necessary). We purchased Australorps, Black Orpringtons, Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, and a Partridge Rock. They are big and friendly and prolific layers. And, there is noooo problem with the barn cats. During an initial "meet and greet" between the two, one of the young chickens sucker smacked our poor Maggie in the face (barn cat) and that, as they say, was that.

Then I "needed" some Easter Eggers, because I was feeling a bit Martha Stewarty last summer. While they do lay beautiful blue eggs, mine are not the friendliest chicks in town. One of them, who I affectionately refer to as "Old Brown Face", would sooner shred my hand then let me collect eggs from underneath her.

Three Easter Eggers with Ugarte (rooster in back).
When purchasing the Easter Eggers, the kind store clerk, noticing the word "Sucker" printed across my forehead, talked me into taking a chick from their "unexpected" arrivals. It turned out to be a Mottled Houdan--a rare French breed. We call her Billie Jean and she's our little super star. She even makes a different sound than the other chickens. We say it's her French accent. As an added bonus she lays white eggs for us.

Billie Jean. Light o' our lives.
Remember my llama story from my first post? You know the free llama from a "friend"? Well, this year another "friend" gave me a free rooster. We call him Ugarte (it's Spanish for island and is also a character in Casablanca). You can see him above sitting on the fence with the Mean Girls. Ugarte is a gorgeous Blue Laced Red Wyandotte. Try saying that fast five times.

Summer's bounty.
From our perspective, chickens are a constant joy and they have such inquiring minds. You never feel lonely when performing your daily chores because they're always underfoot. And, before you even ask, we do NOT eat them...only their eggs.

1 comment:

  1. What are "friends" for if not to enable a chicken addiction????