Thursday, March 25, 2010

Early Spring Mosaic . . . with Chickens

The handsome fella in the middle is our Buff Orpington rooster. I always name our roosters Gregory Peck but this guy was raised by Justin and Claui who named him Reginald Dukakis.
It doesn't matter; he won't answer to either. 
We have to keep our biddies in a pen, due to predators -- hawks, foxes, coons, and, alas, our own dogs. The birds seem pretty content -- they've got room to move around, a house to shelter in, dirt to scratch in, and we make a points of bringing them green stuff.
Reginald/Gregory is starting his little rooster dance -- preparatory to jumping on the hen's back and mating -- ah, chicken foreplay.
We have Buff Orpingtons and Gold-Laced Wyandottes, who lay pinkish-brown eggs and Ameruacanas, who are responsible for the pretty bluish eggs. 

They are laying well now, after slacking off during the dark days of winter -- fourteen hens and most days we get ten eggs.

Good thing Easter's almost here! There'll be plenty of eggs for the Easter egg hunt!
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JamaGenie said...

Reginald Dukakis? Your friends have a great sense of humor! And this city girl had no idea chicken eggs come naturally in any color but white or brown. Such lovely shades of pale blue and pink!

Poetry24 said...

We always kept chicken when I was a child. In fact, everyone seemed to. I remember one that got attacked by our dog when only a chick. It grew up with no feathers on it's neck and looked like a vulture. I think we called it Jeepers!

Pat in east TN said...

Our rooster was named Studly, and he sure thought he was. It was always fun watching 'the man and his ladies', and I remember how excited they'd all get seeing me bring garden goodies or a bucket of weeds their way.

Your ladies sure are laying good right now, and I love the colors of the eggs in your basket.

Jean Baardsen said...

In the photo collage, at first I thought the rooster was a really cool flower - till I noticed his head! What do you do with ten eggs a day?

Vicki Lane said...

JamaGenie -- It's my younger son and his girlfriend with the sense of humor. And yes, there are many lovely shades of pink and brown and greenish blue that chicken eggs come in -- there is a chicken breed from Cuba that lays beautiful deep chocolate brown eggs -- I'd love to add some to our flock but evidently they don't do well in cold weather.

Martin -- There is actually a breed of naked-neck chickens called Turkhens -- ugly as homemade sin. (Apologies to Jeepers.)

Studly -- love it, Pat!

We share with friends, Jean. And we may start selling them to a small local restaurant.

Unknown said...

My dad had several chickens when I was living in Florida. I swear, he spoiled those birds! They had a nice pen, along with their coop that we built and during the weekend, he'd let the girls out to roam the acreage while he was working on clearing land. He'd chop up greens for them.

The favorite game was chicken football. When he'd be clearing out palmetto roots, he'd frequently find grubs in the dirt and would toss it into the pen and the girls would promptly have a game of keep away, trying to get away from the other hens so they could eat the grub. No sooner than they'd put the grub down, than another hen would grab it and take off. I do miss being around chickens, though. There's nothing as soothing as listening to a contented hen.

Tess Kincaid said...

I always wanted chickens. Yours are beautiful, Vicki. Gregory Peck...hee.

Hey, we're wearing the same L.L. Bean corduroy shirt, only mine's aqua!

Vicki Lane said...

Hi, Whalehugger -- Oh, yes! Chicken football -- I've seen our girls do this with tasty morsels. Chickens are such meat-eaters -- I once saw one snap up a tiny mouse. Kind of shocked me.

Good eye, Willow! That is, indeed, a L.L. Bean corduroy shirt -- I must own eight or more in various stages of 'good to wear to town' or 'work shirt' quality. THE perfect fall/winter/spring shirt. And I do love the colors.

Miss_Yves said...

I know Gregory peck, of course, but I wonder who is Reginald Dukakis !
Except this joke, I find your post very funny .
In the middle of your collage , "the handsome fella " seems a monster !

Do you paint these eggs for Easter ?

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Wonderfully fun post!
And I love the collage!!!!
Vicki, I'll repeat myself - if and when you ever decide to start selling prints of your photos I'll be first in line.
I see a wonderful book in my mind that could come from your pictures and your words accompanying them. do you??

Vicki Lane said...

Miss Yves - Reginald Dukakis is a made up name -- the 'kak' in the middle of Dukakis is pronounced 'cock' -- another word for rooster (coq) but also a slightly naughty word for the male organ.

Yes, we dye eggs for Easter -- but I try to leave at least part of the pretty colors showing.

Kaye -- I would adore to do a word and pictures book. They are very expensive to produce, alas. I have done one of those self-pubbed ones -- there's a link to an online version over on the side bar where it says A Year at the Farm. I gave hard copies to family a few years ago for Christmas.

NCmountainwoman said...

I remember helping my grandmother gather eggs. I was scared to death of the rooster whom I was certain was lying in wait to flog me. I had no idea what flogging meant, but it sounded quite frightening.

joanna said...


Beautiful healthy looking birds,
that rooster I would not want to have him get mad at me - the rooster's talons and his powerful beak look like he could do some damage,,, do you wear gloves around him when you go get the eggs?..
and when are you going to invite us bloggee's for a big farm style breakfast -- I like mine in an sunny side up so I can see the beautiful golden sunny yolks.
PS love your shirt.

Vicki Lane said...

mountainwoman and joanny -- a mean rooster might spur your leg or try to flog you with his wings. Could be scary for a child but with an adult, a well placed kick will generally take care of things. Reginald isn't mean.

We do have some good farm breakfast with those fine eggs! Let me know if you find yourself passing by.

R. Burnett Baker said...

What a fun post!

I have a chicken. A stuffed one. My artist aunt made it for me in the 50's out of gray corduroy. His (yes, THAT chicken was a "he") wings are little pockets.

I had almost forgotten about that chicken. Will have to find him next time I'm at my parents' house.

(I know, I know....roosters are he and chickens are she)

Vicki Lane said...

And what, R. Burnett, did your stuffed rooster have in his pocketses?

Miss_Yves said...

Thank you for this lesson of vocabulary !
It's really a private joke !

Barbee' said...

Reading about your chickens and pets is such a delight! I guess I'm having animals withdrawal for all I have now is wild birds at the feeder and neighbors' cats strolling through once in a while. (Only one is very friendly.)

Tipper said...

Cute chicken names-and my goodness Easter is almost here-that is hard to believe : )

Vagabonde said...

The previous owner’s son had raised chicken in the back yard of our new house as a 4H project. We kept them for several years, adding a couple of Bantams and Wyandotte. My two daughters dotted on them – their pets were named Goldilocks and Ginger - both were lost to some neighbor’s dog. We used to give eggs to the whole neighborhood. It was nice eating such fresh eggs.

Vicki Lane said...

Miss Yves -- we are both learning -- though your English is very,, very very good and my French is almost non-existent -- though getting better as far as reading goes.

Barbee -- Wild birds at feeders can be very entertaining -- I enjoy them too!

Almost upon us, Tipper!

We adore those fresh eggs, Vagabonde! Nice bright yellow yolks!