Sunday, March 25, 2007

Buffy & Goldie (or vice versa)

Buffy (or maybe Goldie) on Sunday afternoon, March 25th, 2007.

Our dear friend Carla came to visit Ft. Harrington this weekend. She had just passed a landmark licensing exam in her profession, and needed a place to decompress among friends and animals. She really likes the chickens, so Diane let them have the run of the yard for most of the weekend. She also let Carla have the run of the yard, but that's usually not a problem.

Buffy and Goldie (or maybe the other way around) on a backyard table, vandalizing some ornamental vegetation.

Two of our dozen girls are Buff Orpingtons, and were among the batch we received from a hatchery in Iowa in June of 2005. The "blondes" (as we call them) are named Buffy and Goldie, but perhaps it's the other way around. I have never learned to tell them apart.

Young blonde chicks in August, 2005.

They have always hung out together. The above picture shows them at age two months, perched atop a chunk of redwood, in part of the run they still share with ten other chickens.

Buffy (or Goldie) at age two weeks in July '05.

She's in Diane's hands in the above picture -- and looks like a living Peep, doesn't she? She is in our so-called "Potting Shed," which is really more of an animal-care facility. Only eight by twelve feet and heavily insulated (walls, floor, and ceiling) it is easily kept very warm by a tiny electric space heater. Its rafters and wall-hooks afford easy hangings for various veterinary goodies, and this is where we care for sick or injured animals -- and where we incubated Goldie (and Buffy) and their sisters for a long time after they arrived as two-day-old chicks.

A two-day-old mob, June 20, 2005.

Goldie and Buffy are in there somewhere in the above picture. It shows most of the 25 chicks we received from Iowa by mail two days after they were hatched. After raising them to sturdiness (and we didn't lose a one!) in their incubator in the Potting Shed, we gave all but ten of them away to various members of the Math department in the college where I teach. Together with the two older biddies we still have, that makes a dozen chickens at Ft. Harrington... and they're all still going strong.

The "younger ten" were all hatched on June 18th, 2005 -- the same day in the same year that our youngest dog, Jax, was born, and 35 years to the day after my younger son, Adam, was born. All of that makes it easy to remember when Paul McCartney's birthday is.

A redhead, Sunday, March 25, 2007

Blondes aren't the only birds at Ft. Harrington. The proud guy above is clearly a redhead, as he shows off his ruby topknot for us at the wild-bird-bribery cylinder. (As with all the others, click on the image to see a larger version.)

Ready-made Easter eggs, March 25, 2007.

Now that spring is well and truly here, our girls are popping out eggs at a prodigious rate -- just about one per chicken per day. Above is two days' worth. Goldie and Buffy lay the very pale beige ones, our older girls lay the white ones, our Araucanas lay the (yes) green ones, and the others give us various shades of brown.


Brian Fies said...

I'll say it first to save everyone else the trouble:


You are the best blogger in all the Internets, my friend.

ronnie said...

When I was a little girl we kept hens. To this day there are few sounds I find so soothing to the soul as the gentle clucking of chickens going about their business.

When agitated, they is a different story.

We also had a rooster, and don't get me started.

Thank you for sharing this :)