Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Earl of Parker, Lord of the Manor

Earl's guide to managing one's ladies.

Step one: choose your leading lady.

Step two: make her feel special by bringing her greens and bugs.

Step three: let some of the other hens near.

Step three: observe the jealousy well up in your chosen lady.

Step four: allow leading lady to exact punishment on other hens.

Step five: enjoy some chicken feed and indulge in some bugs for a job well done.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Replacements

It's been several weeks now since the loss of Sybil, Helen and Edith. They were such fantastic birds and I really grew to enjoy they with the passing of each day. Naturally, the loss of my flock was enough to give me pause about whether or not I would continue to keep a flock. I was leaning towards calling it quits, when, a very kind and generous person offered me three The fact that they were free was really nice, but it was the fact that someone reached out in such a way that made the difference. I had no issues paying for the birds, but it was the idea that someone was making such a kind offer that made me give in. I was about to have my flock back!

The three chickens I got first were two buff orpingtons (yes, I have a thing for orpingtons) and what is basically a mutt, a cross between something and something else. LOL I was told it should lay as a Easter egger. I had these birds for a week before I got the second two, another orp hen and a orp rooster. Yep...I got me a roo! I got him mostly because people keep telling me how they defend and protect the flock really well, so I caved.

As for the names... The first two orps are Cora and Isobel. The EE is Rosamond. The newest orp hen is Violet and the roo is The Early of Parker !oD in case you're wondering, the names were inspired by the characters that make up the series, Downton Abbey, a British series that I love (mostly because I'm a serious anglophile!). Orpingtons are, after all, British bred.

Pictures to come, but for now, even while the new flock is in lock down to establish them in the coop, I'm back in the flock business.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A sad day on the ranch...

I'm sorry to not have written in such a long time but today warrants a post.

Last night, Sybil, Helen and Edith were taken by predators. It was stupid in that it fit like a cheesy it was a dark and stormy night. But what is not so cheesy is the intense feeling of disbelief, denial, hope, loss of hope and now the deep feeling of sorrow my wife and I now feel for our dearly departed birds.

They became a part of our life here in Colorado. My daughter who was just coming into speech when we got them called them, "the girls," and would sit and watch them with me as they grazed the yard for bugs and seeds. My daughter is too young to be greatly affected by this loss but my wife and I are so sad. They would let me pet them and hold them while they cooed and clucked softly. I could feed them all manner of things but their favorite food were strawberries. They'd play chicken football with a strawberry...always five minutes of pure joy. They would come up to the screen door and say hi. They would crap all over our deck! But I didn't care, they were chickens and lived happy lives. Their reckless abandonment was a release for me, something I envied. They were beautiful birds, too. And yes, I could tell each of them apart from one another. Their soft colors were pleasing to the eye and their feathers were soft and full...they were amazing.

Sybil, Helen and Edith were the best buff orpingtons I have ever known. People think chickens are stupid but these birds were smart, crafty, and even sneaky in so many ways and it breaks my heart to think that they are gone. They were here for such a short time, but they have left a long-lasting impact on me. And for the happiness and joy you brought into my life, thank you, girls and good bye.