Farmgirl Lesson #1: things never go quite as planned.
My first thought is always: they escaped!
Then: A dog got them all!
I laugh because they are so big they look like turkeys!
And they could really use some red clown noses.
Tazz gave me a dead mouse for my birthday. He'd been stalking that mouse for 3 weeks, dutifully checking every cabinet (they can't get inside the cabinets but you can hear them behind), listening to the floor and the walls, and under the stove. He's such a good mouser we don't need a cat!
LOL - I had hoped the chickens will give me at least one egg for my birthday! It was a pipe dream.... Every time we disturb their coop in some way, they punish us with no eggs, and even try to bed down outside of it.
But the 2 eggs I've gotten were beautiful!
I'm always checking the bushes for a stray egg. They laze in out in their yard and make little dust bowls in the ground around the bushes. No eggs there either.
I don't know why, but they always look at me with an eye of distrust! (Enlarge the picture to get the 'look' up close).
Well, maybe that's my imagination.
What do you think?:
I was in the process of moving their nests to ground level so they might use them.... This hen cracked me up when she took a side-step while eyeing the new nests (now on her level), as she walked by.
Then when she got a few more steps farther away...she stopped for a 2nd look, craning her neck:
I've read that you need to 'train' your chickens to use a nest or a roost (the staggered ladders to sleep on).
Yep, I really mean that. It had a little ‘etch’ mark, as if one and ½ an egg had been fused together- which I’m sure is exactly what happened.
(white egg from the supermarket for comparison)
Love that color!
But you see it has been cracked on top- she must've been standing up when she laid it!
Well, the dogs enjoyed the double yolks in it!
I really don't know what's best. Sigh.
Before I discovered this breed, I was looking at the silver Cuckoo Maran.
They are so similar, but much less feathered- and smaller/lighter in weight.
I also looked into silver Barnvelder, and the lavender Orpington.
The Golden Orpingtons are highly popular: fat & feathery, and extremely broody (which means they like to sit on their nest and hatch their eggs).
But from what I can tell, lavender birds are more delicate, like blue vs purple flowers tend to be - especially when trying to breed them - their colors don't easily breed true (it's complicated). But they are beautiful birds.
If you're at all interested in raising chickens- this is the best resource for information: Backyard chickens.com
As you may know, there really ARE chocolate turkeys....I like the chocolate (and red palm and bronze) turkeys a lot!
(Just so you know, color matters more than anything else to me. I know that's weird.) But, I want to raise a few turkeys one day- just to sell. We just don't really like to eat turkey much.
If you never considered raising your own- take a look at all these yummy looking turkeys and you're bound to change your mind!
Few breeds are feathery enough to endure winters here without a lot more oversight (and electricity). I think it's not a good idea to start out borrowing trouble like that just for color of feather - or egg.
And I've looked into the Muscovy duck- a delicious meat bird which needs little to no water, like most other ducks do. Some say they are ugly birds, but I found one I like! The lavender, of course:
And today I just discovered the Sabastopol goose. All I can say is WOW. Please delight your own sensibilities and be INSPIRED!
(check them out here!)
For instance the lightest hen is always the first one out the door in the morning , and always the first one to walk toward me now, looking for scraps. And the smallest hen, the one with the prettiest wing pattern, the darkest, is last in the door all the time when I’m herding them in for the night.
Not exactly 'naming' material though.
THEY got over 2 feet up in the mountains in the north... I guess that makes some people happy.
It's already been in the 20's overnight and we are using the wood stove every morning.
Snow insulates from the world at large. You drive and there is no sound of tires on gravel or pavement. It's quiet when you stand outside and listen, like cottonballs in your ears. And when the thick smooth clouds come, they insulate my little world. I focus better. This is a good thing. Everyone needs to both express and internalize, like ying and yang. The seasons provide the opportunity for it.
I don't know how I'll feel tomorrow about turning 50, but right now I'm feeling just 'free', like all doors are open and I have only to walk thru the door(s) of my choice. I could still go back to school even, if I wanted to. (I don't, but I do fantasize about having a business career sometimes, combining counseling as a psychologist & adding nutritional counseling (as a nutritionist) AND run my own daycare center. Not watching the kids full time- I just want to design the programs and the school settings and supervise the supervisors, lol. I would like to do all 3 at the same time! You know, associate them all together and then have multiple streams of income!)
I need a new wardrobe to look like one!
But then, that's not very practical for doing farmy chores...
Having a little less snow to contend with is fine with me, as long as the rain makes up for it....
Some people have traditions they follow for the first snow day- like making a pot of chili. So do I. I hunker down to watch the whole marathon of "The Lord of the Rings".
Maybe it inspires me that if they can survive all that, then I can survive through winter. (Remember, when we lived in Southern California, and it would start to rain, we would make a run on the store for 'supplies'! And it wasn't just us- it was everyone! LOL)
The first 2 years I lived here, I cried when it snowed. Not sad tears, but tears of dread, fear of being trapped, enclosed by a tomb of snow. Even if only 3" fell... it was just sheer fear of what MIGHT happen.
I don't mind anymore- it doesn't scare me to drive in it anymore, but it's very hard to see when driving thru snow at night. It's like driving through a Star Trek Warp Speed 9- into a starry outer space. The flakes circle around as you go forward- and that's about all you can see.