Tag Archives: chickens

Patterns found in Nature

We added Speckled Sussex and Golden Polish chicks this spring to the barnyard.  In the order Murray McMurray included an extra chick which has grown into a MALE Hamburg.  So we have TWO roosters for 17 hens.  Trust me that is at least ONE too many and the girls think it is 2 too many.  BUT they both look spectacular, so who ends up in the stew pot?  Stay tuned.

Hamburg Rooster

Hamburg Rooster

Golden Polish Rooster

Golden Polish Rooster

In the mean time, with this variety we learned each breed has an identifiable voice along with feather pattern, and leg colors.  It is a chorus of clucks and chirps when we feed.

See if you can match the legs with feather patterns selecting one from column A and one from B.  Answers below the gallery.

Answer: Feet top to bottom (Dominique, Speckled Sussex, Golden Polish)

Feathers top to bottom (Speckled Sussex, Golden Polish, Dominique)

Fresh Air Friend

Sometimes you need to get away from a regular routine.  Jennifer Larmour thought that a few weeks ago and called us up.  Seems New York City in the summer gets hot ?!  Determined to travel approximately 320 miles using “public transportation” she caught the Mega Bus from NYC to DC, walked the few blocks to Union Station and AMTRAC to take the 55 mile trip out on the ONLY train going west through Harper’s Ferry, WV on Saturday. 

Great shadows and stacking of shapes

That is where I came in, completing her trip out to Hampshire County in our Toyota (another hour and 45 minutes). You see I wasn’t going closer than Harper’s Ferry to pick her up.  More on the return trip later.

Jim had planned on Jennifer’s visit food wise, shopping at the Romney Farmers Market for fresh snap peas from Bryan Beveridge, cooking up Bob (the rooster in previous post) into broth for Greek Lemon Soup (cold), and marinating some venison from the property till very tender for delicious kabobs with new red potatoes (Bryan’s again) cherry tomatoes and mushrooms (did have to resort to FoodLion for these). 

Talking to the broody hen, while collecting breakfast

We started every morning with farm fresh eggs collected eagerly by Jennifer and served fried on a bowl of oatbran bought in bulk at Miller’s Market, or with bacon and greens from our garden.  Sure is nice to have someone around who enjoys food and preparing it well. Jennifer and I did appreciate Jim.

2010 Garlic Harvest on the Farm, with help

We enjoyed her visit and she stepped in willingly to help with our chores. The big team effort was harvesting the garlic rows before the 90 degree sun got too high in the sky.

A fellow fiber artist, Jennifer and Susan spent hours happily working in the studio.  She finished a portrait of Grandma with very young Jennifer on her lap.  The freedom of interpretation is one aspect of her art we truly enjoy.

Jennifer's hooked rug 2010, Grandma and Jennifer

Tuesday came too soon and we returned to Harper’s Ferry in time for the 11:16 am to DC, coming from Chicago.  When the temperatures get as hot as currently, the trains slow down for safety reasons.  Someone called the 800 number and found out the arrival would not be until 1:45!!   TOO Late for a bus transfer in DC to NYC, we thought about it and agreed to take David (Appalachian Trail hiker who needed to get to a plane for return to Portland, OR) and off we went to Vienna METRO Station about 38 miles closer to the city. Thank heavens for the GPS and my knowing something of the area.  Traffic picked up, the lanes widened to 5 lanes across at one point, but we were in the middle of the dayso not bad.  Pulled into the station, and the travellers had decided to take a cab which would assure them of a quicker arrival in town, WALL-AH a Yello Taxi appeared! 

Received an email from Jennifer around 9:00 pm and she had arrived safe, having consumed a pound of snap peas on the bus trip.  We look forward to another effortless, and very friendly visit soon.  The farm isn’t the same without her, Bob, the cat, misses the extra attention.

Full House

Yes there are 3 Hens in the one box!

These Dominique Hens are fourteen months old.  They obviously are interested in sitting on eggs to hatch.  BUT they don;t understand, only one hen is needed per nest.  We have patiently waited 22 days and are about to throw out the rotten eggs in upper right box and start all over AGAIN. 

The hen is not demonstrative enough to say, “Go Away, I have enough eggs under me, find your own spot to lay an egg.”  What do we humans know about making baby chickens? Not much.

Chicken in the Pot

Two roosters are good for some things: breeding and two part harmony in the morning.  

Bob #1 during the winter blizzard

But when Alpha male decides he is the king of the the roost (and the humans are considered part of that roost), something has to happen.  Sure enough even though Jim thought the crown of Bob #1, was better than Bob #2, we finally decided to add #1 to the freezer.  On April 22 the tenth rooster of the original Murray McMurray Dominques met his end.  He was the first one we successfully plucked (since he was midway through a molt) and weighed in at 5 pounds dressed.  The local farmers said that was a good size.

We noticed the very next day a new quiet and calm nature to the flock including protective BOB.  Glad he is happy we are too.  Now to await the hatching of the first (of three) nests and another generation of hens and roosters named…. BOB.  Wondering why all of our animals are named BOB? Makes for simple conversation, ease in culling the flock(they are all the same name) and we wont forget their name.