Tuesday, August 28, 2012

James Bond- shaken not stirred

A few months ago a friend agreed to hatch some baby chicks for me. She has a flock of Ameraucanas and knew that I wanted to increase my flock. When I went to pick them up, sadly one chick had died, but the others distracted me. To "make up" for losing the one chick- btw these chicks were free, so how can you be upset with losing a chick that you didn't even have let alone pay for?- Stephanie brought out several that she thought might be Easter Eggers. Of course I said, "Yes, please I want them!" and off I went.
Some of you may know, unlike me at the time, that breeder birds are different from hatchery birds. Hatchery birds tend to be fairly uniform, so much so that you seldom get "really good show quality birds". On the other side, chicks are inspected and "culled" if they have any physical deformaties or problems. Getting chicks from a breeder or straight from a hatch- your chances are better for pretty birds- but if the breeder is not someone who culls their stock for perfection you might see bumble foot and other none fatal issues.
Such was the case with my Black Birds. I had a badly weakened chick with walking issues, one with a mal-formed foot and then there was....cue music~ James Bond.

Looking like a tuxedo wearing, ladies man, James Bond was fabulous. Dressed all in black with just a hint of a white ruffle at his chest, I knew he was special. But unlike the invinsible spy about town, JB seemed a little small and weak. Eventually he got sick with a respitory ailment. I surely thought he would die. I seperated him from the other chicks- who were by that time all doing well, and placed him in "hospital"- a small box with comfy bedding and quiet. Knowing that James never sleeps alone, I placed a sleep-over friend for him to cuddle with. Eventually James made a full recovery, although it took round the clock feedings and constant care, I was so happy he was alive. Now Bond is 12 weeks old and quite the attractive Easter Egger cockerel. His daper white shirt blaze has been replaced by a coppery red- he is such the individual.
May I present Bond, James Bond~

Monday, August 6, 2012

First of dozens (we hope)

I'm not sure you're really a chicken lady until the first egg appears. And despite the fact that small unidentified children come up to me and ask. "How are you're chickens?" I have really felt less-than when it comes to my newest endeavor to leave egypt. Everyday I would go out to the coop, lift lids looking for egg, only to find my kitten Boogie was the only one resting in the nesting boxes (he thinks he's a chicken). I had even resulted in looking through the woods trying to find hidden stashes of eggs, but each day I would come back empty. No eggs. No fritatas. No omelettes. No deviled eggs.

I had pretty much resigned myself to failure, when Friday last week there was a commotion in the coop- and not just in the coop, but in the whole yard. I had read about such things but had dismissed the stories as myth- but there my chickens were- SINGING! The Egg Song, oh what a beautiful melody. Bok Bok Bok BOGAWK! Over and over they all sang it. It was like a chant of encouragement to my sweet girl Bea. It lasted for 2 hrs.
When she emerged from the coop. Bea got a drink of water and a bite to eat and joined the flock, leaving me to find the prize- and there it was. What a gift! A wonderfully peach colored small egg. Now that would be wonderful enough, but later in the morning I realized one of my other girls Leila was missing. I looked all over for her, but she was nowhere. Maybe she was sad because she had no song. Maybe she was jealous of her sisters newfound ability. Maybe she was......naw that would be crazy. I opened the door to the coop and there she was. Comfy and secure and as I later found out- laying an egg!

So all the waiting was worth it. Bea and Leila have started laying pretty regularly, so much so that 2 loaves of Banana Bread were made with their gifts this morning. And when my hubby came home he was just in time to retrieve another of Leila's eggs still warm from her body.

I am finally a Chicken Lady.