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Entries in chicken coop minneapolis (4)

Wednesday
Jan122011

It's about time.

 Seven months, one tragedy and two roosters later we finally have three healthy layers.

We were never really sure that Hermione had been laying. The only one remaining of the original bunch of three, her hawkish looks and goof ball demeanor didn't make us question why we were spending whatever ridiculous amount it was on organic feed, the occasional organic tomato, bunch of organic spinach or tasty chokecherry from our front tree for a seemingly sterile bird.  Well, somehow, againt nature's way (laying decreases dramatically during the short winter days), she finally started popping out some lovely blue eggs and hasn't stopped since.  After a few (many) insanely cold days and nights we finally got out to checking our laying box to find three frozen, cracked and otherwise wasted blue eggs.  Today is the only day since she started that she hasn't produced, leading me to believe she is on a six days on, one day off schedule.  I'm going to need a vintage metal egg basket to sate my inner photographic needs this coming summer.  Aren't all three gorgeous together?  Brown with spots come from Peggy Olson, pink fom Nina Totenberg and the blue from everyone's favorite Hermionie Granger.  I'll begin taking your pre-dyed easter egg orders starting next week*.

 

*USDA sidenote: I promise I won't sell anyone my eggs. Unless they offer me big bucks or trade for delicious meals, in which case, feel free to come raid my three hen establishment.  Cheers.

Monday
Aug302010

Cock-a-doodle do (part 1)

Sometimes things do not go as planned.

 

Recap: I was dreaming of a kitchen counter covered in these

 

So we got some chicks

 

Then that cute fluffy yellow one died. 

 

Panic!  Terror!

 

Okay, fine, we moved on. Then we got this one, you voted and her name became Ingrid.  And life was good.

 

 

Our backyard had become one of my favorite places.  We would sit outside, watch the chickens and admire our partially done fence.  We even got a pool!

 

That is not us, and those are not our kids

 

Kyle and I were in the pool enjoying ourselves when we heard it.  I had heard it earlier in the day, and was worried but brushed it off.  When we heard it again, I did some quick internet research.  Jackie, who was supposed to look like this:

(this is a hen, FYI)

instead looked like this:

(and, of course, this is a rooster, also FYI)

Shiiiit.

 

 

From that day forth, the glamourous Jackie O was now referred to as Jack Kennedy.  To keep our neighbors happy, the next day he flew the coop to a nice couple in Brooklyn Park who told me they would be using him for breeding. (Fingers crossed for you Jack!)

 

And then there were two.

 

To be continued...

 

Tuesday
Jun292010

Chicken update

Well, the ladies are officially pullets (or teen-aged chickens). They're living outside in their coop, and have all of their big girl feathers.  Jackie O. is beginning to develop her waddle and comb, while Hermione continues to look like a hawk.  They love digging through the grass looking for bugs and I've been giving them plenty of scraps from the kitchen (so far eggplant skin has been the biggest winner in their book).  Hermionie was even coordinated enough to grab a fly out of mid-air yesterday.  We're waiting on a new fence to be built so we can let them roam around the backyard (with adult supervision of course) but they seem pretty happy in their run, and always return to the coop at dusk to get some shut eye.

 

 

The first few days they were outside (or even a full week) they were pretty hesitant to spend time out on the grass, but are now out there rooting around looking for things most hours of the day.

 

Last Friday, Kyle came home from Egg|Plant, an urban farming store in St Paul that has everything one could need to raise a backyard chicken, with a pretty decent sized box in his hand.  I had sent him there to pick upsome chick feed and what does he come home with? 

 

A baby chicken. 

 

What?!? 

 

Okay, she's not exactly a baby chicken, but a pullet... two weeks younger than our own, and a Buff Orpington by breed.  I was less than pleased about the prospect of a newbie as I've read horror stories about new, younger chicks being integrated and ultimately being pecked to death by their head master (in this case, that would be Jackie O). But the store owner had only the one little girl left and was about to be reduced to begging on Facebook, convincing Kyle to take one for the team.  

Not knowing what this little lady's fate would be, we didn't name her concerned we'd have another burial ahead of us.  The first few days we were on edge;  Jackie O. reared up, poofed her neck feathers and showed the new girl who was boss... but pecking never ensued.  Two nights ago I opened the coop to find all three girls nesting together in a little ball of chicken fluff, and all of my worries melted away.  Yesterday was the first day they all scratched around the run together in perfect harmony, and we're ready to give our little blondie a name.  We've come up with a short list, and would love you to help us out.

 

What should we name our new chicken?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Diana, Princess of Wales
Ingrid Bergman
Mary Kate Olsen
Marilyn Monroe
Results

 

 

 

Saturday
Apr102010

She pushed me right over the edge

I went to a farm this week.  I love animals... and farms, and farmers...  Being a city girl my entire life, you'd probably be surprised by my love for the farm.  There is a reason for this love of course, and it's clearly a romanticised one, but it's real, dear and close to my heart.  My grandparents lived on a farm. Well, my grandma still lives in the same house on the same acreage, but it's not so much a farm any more.  There is still pasture, but the animals have long since left (aside from the fire ants and catfish that live in the tank) and the land is no longer worked.  Once upon a time Kyle and I worked on farms for four months.  It was the most exhausting and rewarding thing either of us has ever done, but it marked us.  Something about farming is so intrinsically human.  Cultivating the land, raising animals... it's what separates us from the rest of the primates.

 

But we live in the city, and I love the city too.  I love my friends, and the skyline, and barbecues, the bike rides, the restaurants and coffee shops... So what, really, is a girl to do?  Can a person really just leave the city?  Their house?  Their job? Will all the time I spend at my computer being "connected" eventually burn me out?  Will I burn my bra*, my iPhone and my designer jeans and head towards the hills?  When I see beauties like these, courtesy of my friend Khaiti, I think I just might.  

 

EDIT: These eggs are NOT dyed.  They come from hens known as easter egg varieties.  This is the real deal people!

 

Not quite being prepared to up and change our entire lives, we instead had this delivered to our house today.

 

 

 

 

 

I think having cute little chicks in our possession might just help convince me to blog more too... though we'll have to see how much sleep I'm getting :)

*I am aware that farmers can and do wear bras, and that they are sold at both Fleet Farm and Wal-Mart.  But if I'm a farmer, I'm saving my bra only for special occasions.