Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hen Party

There was a real hen party on the hay bale yesterday.

The black and gray rooster is Mickey Finn, and the girls are his harem.

Mickey is the last of my Dominque flock. He's about 6 years old, still going strong and very friendly. He will eat from my hand and follow me around to see what I'm up to.

Lately, I've gotten the distinct impression that Micky Finn and MoJo are following me to keep Ian away. Ian is a Buff Orphington rooster. A beautiful bird to look at and just as sneaky and nasty as a rooster gets.

He attacked me two days ago while I was letting the alpacas free. I had to throw my hot coffee in his face to make him back off. It was a waste of a good cup of coffee, but it worked.

Ian the Buff Orphington
Ian is the first mean rooster I've ever raised. A young roo will usually come at me once or twice, but a boot up the butt usually cures him. If that isn't enough there is always someone wanting some chicken and dumplings. He's taken several bashings and been squirted with the hose. The hose and the coffee worked the best.

Ian's cornered my friends, attacked me, attacked my dogs. He sneaks up behind me, then will stamp his feet so loud I actually hear him. Then it's usually too late, because footstamping is the signal just before an attack. He was Grumpy's pet chicken, until in a fit of rage (because I was holding his nasty self) he bit Grumpy's nose so hard the poor alpaca squealed.

I'm keeping him because I want purebred Buff Orphington hen. There are 48 eggs in the incubator, and some of them will be purebred. However, after this last winter, with it's terrible frostbite - I might use MoJo the Buff Brahma instead. Brahmas have feathered feet and small combs and wattles, they do better in the cold.

Mojo's another older rooster - 4 years old, I think. I don't know if I have any photos of him. He's not so good with the girls. He doesn't have a harem, he's not a lady's man at all. He seems to have been beaten out by Ian, so only the oldest hens hang out with him.

Micky Finn is King, even though he's not the same breed. Here's a close up.

Mickey Finn at 6 months
He was just a little guy, not half the size he is now. But he's still a great looking guy. We'll have to see how many chicks I get this year. Eventually, I'll have to replace Ian.

Chicken soup anyone?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cooking Gadgets - Eggies

I'm always interested in cooking gadgets. You never know what will work fantasically (like rice cookers) or bomb.

My hens produce up to 13 eggs a day now. (It can vary wildly from season to season.) I sell the majority at the Vine Grove Farmer's Market. The rest goes to private customers, with the duck eggs going to Whole Life Buying Club.

The downside to fresh-from-the-barn-eggs is that the shells stick to the boiled egg.

That's where these eggies come in handy. Oil the eggie shell and the whole thing pops out with a bit of help from a tooth pick.

Gotta fly!