Sunday, October 15, 2006

About chickens

This has been a “chicken weekend” for us.

It started late Friday night when Norm decided to move the chicken yard … the hens have ripped the yard to nothing but dirt, so he uprooted fence posts and moved the area to fresh grass – made the hens very happy!

Then we discovered our first green egg! For those of you who do not know, the Araucana breed of chicken lays green, blue or pinkish eggs. I ordered six of these unique hens when I got my layers this spring.

We have been getting many pullet eggs this month – the girls have been laying small eggs (will get bigger as they get older), but no colored eggs. I was beginning to doubt McMurray hatchery. They have been famous (I discovered this summer) for sending strange birds instead of the ordered ones.

Our cockerels were a prime example. We ordered “mixed heavies” and got a mix, all right! Some big, some small, some strangely mixed breeds. So I expected (feared) that our “Araucanas” were not really so.

Araucanas come originally from Chili and have been cross-bred so there are now “Americanas” and also “Easter Egg chickens” …. I believe we have the Easter Egg hens, as they don’t have any physical resemblance to the purebred Araucanas. The Araucana has no tail, usually has blue legs and has tuffs on it’s beak.

Perhaps, some day, I can get some purebred ones to go along with my Cuckoo Marans that I desire (these have CHOCOLATE colored eggs!). These are French birds!

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Disclaimer - this is NOT my picture, but from the web ..

These are Maran eggs with white and "brown" for contrast. Aren't they beautiful?

But anyway, back to the main subject, we now have at least one hen that lays green eggs.

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Notice the sizes ... one "normal" large egg, one small pullet egg and the green one ...

Then, the other chicken related happening was that I roasted a cockerel for lunch yesterday – Candy came over for a spinning lesson and Wayne came over for a short visit and lunch. I commented on the lack of breast meat on the bird and Candy said her last bird had little breast meat, too. We wondered if it were because of our strange mix of birds.

Next year, we will go to another hatchery and get decidedly heavy (heavy breasted, too) birds.

The weather yesterday was nearly perfect. The wind dropped and it got up to 50º. Today it is supposed to be warmer. Peanut and I have a ‘date’ with the barn. We are going to clean and get ready for revamping … the chickens will be moved and part of the barn will be torn down … the leaky part, which is too difficult to re-roof! I need to get the ‘new’ area ready for the hens so we can move them before it gets rainier or more snow.

It will be a beautiful day today – you have a beautiful day!

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