I keep my feathers numbered

I believe that I have mentioned my forays into small scale gardening type activities, no? Well, conclusions have been reached vis a vis particular experiments that were undertaken this summer. We will not be doing the straw bale gardening again. As with much of what you find on the internet, it did not live up to the hype.

Now, it could simply be that it is a technique more suited to where the author of the book I purchased resides (ie: the frigid north), which would not be a first. The majority of the time when I go to a gardening center and read the tags they are obviously written by and for people in other climates. I have to keep reminding myself that “Full Sun” usually means “Full Sun” in some place more New Englandish – it does not mean full, beating sun all day in Georgia. Full, beading sun all day in Georgia will turn the vast majority of plants into crispy critters. So, the fact that one of the purported benefits of the straw bale gardening was “lengthening the season” should have tipped me off.

On the other hand …

No, I cannot get all 8 of them in the same picture

No, I cannot get all 8 of them in the same picture, here’s 6.

This is going swimmingly well.

We had some stress with regards to a mystery chicken, some you just cannot tell if they are gonna lay or crow. Unfortunately he decided to crow one morning and he had to be returned. Luckily the lovely lady that I purchased my chickens from let me swap him out for a girl and we are sitting pretty with 8 pullets.

Actually, 7 pullets – because we have had our first egg! That means we have 7 pullets and 1 hen. I am not certain which one is the overachiever, but she has given us two eggs (or possibly we have 6 pullets and 2 hens and the eggs came from two different butts) so we are well on our way to quiche town.

This is Eve

This is Eve

These chickens are way crazier than my last batch, so I thought I would introduce them to y’all so that I could start telling some of the stories. Because these chicks are a hoot. Above is the best picture I got this morning when I let them out to scratch around. As you may have deduced from the caption – her name is Eve.

I let my son name the chickens, so don’t blame me. He was uncertain what to name them so we had a long discussion about girl names from books and movies that he likes. Eve is Wall-e’s girlfriend. If you haven’t seen the Pixar film Wall-e, you should.

We also have appearances by two characters from the TV show Eureka – Sarah & Martha; and two out of children’s books – Jemima & Mercy. When we went to pick up the replacement chicken the breeder commented on how beautiful the willow color was on her legs (Easter Eggers have green tinged legs that are called “willow”) and the little man grabbed onto that immediately, so her name is Willow (no, I have not let my 6 yr old watch Buffy …. yet).

For the final two chickens he was at a total loss, they are both mostly black and almost impossible to tell apart.

They both look pretty much like this.

They both look pretty much like this.

By the time we got to them he was over the whole naming thing so I got to dub them. They are Australorp/Wellsummer crosses – with the Wellsummer only coming through in brief flashes of red around the neck. So they are the black sisters. Obviously the only appropriate names for them are Bellatrix & Narcissa.

So, there you have it. At least now when I start talking about chickens y’all will have a point of reference. I would say you won’t think I am crazy, but that might be too much to hope for.

6 thoughts on “I keep my feathers numbered

  1. My best gal pal has 21 chickens now. It started with 3! We have so much fun watching their antics! Are the blacks Jersey Giants? The latest additions to my friends flock are the “easter egg” layers. I get the fun whilst she does the work – a good trade me thinks !

    • I have three black chickens, one is an Australorp and the other two are mixed breed – mostly Australorp. I totally understand wanting a ton of chickens. It is probably a good thing that I don’t have room for any more.

  2. It’s nice to meet your flock so we’ll have names to attach to stories. Eve is gorgeous (and looks as if she knows it). Forgive my chicken ignorance, but don’t you need at least one crow-er to, um, court the pullets? (Condo living means I’m immune to the temptation to get a feathered flock of my own. And immune to the gardening itch.)

    • The only think you need a roo for is if you want chicks. Hens will lay an egg every 28 to 36 hours (depending on breed) regardless of the presence of a male. If you have a roo the eggs may/will be fertilized and should you choose to allow a hen to go broody and sit on her eggs then you can get chicks. Since all I want is eggs and I don’t want to annoy my neighbors with constant crowing – I have chosen to keep it to a “Hen Party”.

  3. Thanks for the chickie introductions. I adore Wall-e- honestly, it’s among my top 5 Dave movies and I don’t even have any littles. I also love that you went with Bellatrix and Narcissa for you “black sisters”- I cheered out loud when I read that. Seriously.

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