Monday, August 27, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
interesting facts about chicken eggs," from the backyard chickens site. some of my favorites:
The typical interval between eggs laid is about 25 hours, so a hen that lays an egg every day will lay a bit later each day.
Often a hen will sing “the egg song” before or after she lays an egg. Some will sing during the process of laying. It is a cheerful song that seems to be a proud announcement.
An eggshell has a protective coating that prevents bacteria from entering the egg. To retain this coating, eggs should not be washed until just before use.
If you aren’t sure how old an egg is, you can submerge it in water. The freshest eggs will remain at the bottom of the container, while old eggs will float. Floaters should either be discarded or opened far from your nose.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
edit, 8/16: zinnie died today. i thought she was fine. the other chickens didn't try to attack her, they just squawked a lot at first, and later calmed down, but they did chase her away if she got in their way. last night when i checked on them, all four were cuddled up together. this morning the others were leaving her alone. i put up a perch that only zinnie could get to, just in case the others got aggressive and she needed to escape. i don't know what happened, but when i came home from work she was dead on the floor of the coop. i feel awful.
obviously i needed another chicken. OBVIOUSLY. i'm now outnumbered by furry and feathered friends at a ratio of 6:1.
the new addition is a 10-week-old silver laced wyandotte. she was free on craigslist--her sister was eaten by a fox, and the owners didn't want to keep just one lonely chicken. plus the fox might come back, and they didn't feel ready to have chickens in the first place--they didn't have a coop built yet, so the babies were sleeping in mailboxes.
silver laced wyandotte is the breed i wanted most of all this spring, but they were totally sold out.
this is what she'll look like. she'll fit with the white/black/gray theme of my little flock beautifully. she'll produce brown or tan eggs, approximately 200-240 a year.
the ladies are not sure what to make of her at all. it's going to take some getting used to. if i need to keep her in isolation for a while i can do that, but i don't want to...
her old owners called her "wild rose," because she liked to hide under a wild rosebush in their backyard. i'm changing her name to zinfandel (because she's a "WINE-dot"), and zinnie for short, to fit with the others. now there's minerva, wynonna, printemps and zinfandel--minnie, wynnie, prinnie and zinnie.
today is the first day all three of the older girls laid an egg! turns out prinnie is a white egg layer. that's ok. minnie is still laying every day (13 total now), wynnie has laid three, and prinnie has done one and a half (her first one was an "oops egg," with no shell).
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
first white egg today! i think it was wynnie.
here she is being a chicken cameleon (chick-EE-lee-en):
i looked closely at prinnie's earlobes, which are supposed to indicate egg color, and they're seafoam green. (before i started reading about chickens, i didn't even know they had earlobes.) i think i read that anconas are capable of producing, but rarely do produce, tinted eggs. maybe she's one of those rare birds. it would be so neat to have three chickens with three different colors of eggs.
minnie's laid an egg every day since she started. i ate the first one and now i've saved half a dozen--i'm hoarding them to share with visiting family this weekend.
Monday, August 6, 2012
my poor neglected garden is overrun with weeds right now. i haven't had as much time/energy to put into gardening this year as i thought i would. i'm way more focused on the animals.
minnie has laid an egg every day since friday! i thought they'd be sporadic for a while, but apparently not. still waiting for the other two.
i got this cute chicken basket at a fabulous antique/thrift store called mixed bag bazaar.
i'm enjoying the small plates of homegrown food i get every day or two.
pretty small onions too. but still tasty.
no ripe big tomatoes yet, only small ones. lots of green.
my fuzzy wuzzy tomatoes are ripening (above). these are very rare, special tomatoes that i sent away for from a tomato gardener in the netherlands (i couldn't find them anywhere in the states). they grow to less than a foot tall, with heart-shaped red fruit with shiny orange stripes. the leaves and fruit are covered in a soft, velvety fuzz:
naranjilla is blooming! look at those wicked thorns. for scale, the biggest leaves are about a foot and a half long, not counting the stem.