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Entries in fresh eggs (1)

Wednesday
Sep222010

Cock-a-doodle do (Part 2)

After we got rid of Jack, we found ourselves with two VERY pleasant little chickens on our hands. Jack was pretty mean and always got to eat treats before everyone else, so with him out of the picture I found myself growing quite fond of the two gals. I grew quite attached to them both, Ingrid with her cute curly cue of a feather and wonky toe, Hermionie with her puffy face; The coop was a happy place to be. 

 

 

About two weeks after we got rid of Jack, I remember waking up and hearing a familiar crow, and thought to myself "someone else in the neighborhood has a rooster!" Not only was I happy because we had gotten rid of our icky rooster, but I was pleased to know that someone else in the neighborhood was in the chicken rearing business. It wasn't long before a good dose of reality set in and the feeling of dread rushed over me: what if it was one of ours? I quickly ran out back to see our sweet Ingrid raise her head to the sky and yell in that pathetic voice "I'm a boy chicken!". No, I shook my head. It couldn't be true. What person could have such terrible chicken luck? She was so sweet, so tame! She let me pick her up, and always came over when I put my hand in the run. She couldn't be a rooster...

 

Then, in a moment of doubt, I resorted to the best resource I know: the Internet.  Thank the Lord for google. I ran to my computer and typed in "crowing buff orpington hen" and found lots of hits about Buffs (her breed) being noisy girls, especially if they had come to be at the top of the pecking order. I blamed her call of masculinity on gender identification issues and called it a day.  We continued on with a few weeks of afternoon crowing, but that one telltale morning, moments after the sky began to lighten, I heard a crow and began to realize that I was living a lie. My sweet, adorable Ingrid was really an Ingmar.

 

I considered dropping her off at the front door of Egg|Plant, the lovely shop that gifted the bird to us, but decided it would be worth my while to try and find him a nice home. A post to the Twin Cities Chickens Google Group and a few anxiety filled mornings later, Ingmar had found himself a new home on a farm with 12 lovely hens to keep him plenty busy. It was a sad departure, but going to a loving person who wanted to breed Buffs, it was a match made in heaven.  And then there was one; Sweet, goofy, poofy-faced Hermionie. 

I actually think the solitude did her some good. She became much more excited when I came out to feed her tomatoes, and has since become as sweet at Ingrid once was. But we couldn't leave her alone. Chickens are social birds and need a flock to be happy (not unlike geese... or velociraptors {which are SORT OF birds, according to lots of conventional scientific thought [from what I remember about Jurassic Park]}). So it was back to Craigslist we went. Less than a week after emptying our nest of our final (fingers crossed) rooster, we introduced two new honest-to-goodness hens to the flock. 

 

The large lady is known as Peggy Olson and is a White Rock, a large gal as white as snow, known for friendly demeanor and large brown eggs. 

The smaller black gal has been named Nina Totenberg, an Australorpe (Aussie for Orpington!) with stark, coal colored eyes and a very timid personality. 

They were said to have hatched just a week before Hermione and after a few days of figuring out who was in charge (it's Peggy, but the way) we once again had a happy, healthy coop, this time filled with all girls. And as of today, our lives as urban farmers is forever changed, as our two new girls presented us with a couple of morning presents. 

 

Not just one, but TWO eggs were pictured in the text message I received from Kyle today. Knowing this day was coming was one thing, but to hold a tiny li'l chicken egg in your hand changes everything.