Last week when I shared Fred Cohen's pictures of our hens, Zan noticed they were missing their combs.
Q: "Um, where did their combs disappear to??? I thought all chickens had them. No?"
A: Actually, we are still waiting for their combs to appear, because as big as the hens are, they are only three months old, still growing and developing. Very soon we will see lovely combs on our Ameracaunas and Cuckoo Marans, maybe some like Debbie's curvy flower. The amazing thing about combs is all the variations and styles they come in! Even our own small flock has displayed a lot of different colors, sizes and shapes. Sometimes, I'll hear someone say that a comb is what roosters have, but lovely combs are the honor of roosters and hens, both.
But it's possibly Tamsyn.
But it's possibly Tamsyn.
We just don't know.
This is the hen that crows. Like a rooster. A rooster that lays eggs, so she's really a hen. Kamen started in June, and sounded more like a hen with bronchitis than an actual rooster, but she practiced all summer long, and now (every morning between 6:14 and 6:23) she goes a round of cock-a-doodle-dooing that is sure to convince anyone in a three block radius that a rooster lives at the Bird House.
If you think you might have an interest in chemistry, pharmacies, herbs, healing, or life in Victorian England, I highly recommend the BBC program Victorian Pharmacy. We watch it through YouTube, on our television. It's a fascinating series, and, obviously, inspiring, too.
Max is a sophomore this year, and seems well settled into his new year. He has two science classes, English, and Algebra-Trig. He loves physics. He's also joined the creative writing club. Now his friend Lucas is in high school, too, and I think this has made it nice, since many of his friends graduated last year.
Max taught Maria how to play Magic: The Gathering. It's not a simple card game, but Maria caught on quick. Last night Geoff learned how to play, but he lost his first match to Maria. I predict a rematch, soon.
Alex is painting, designing, and doing loads of homework for his courses. He's on the path. He met a really helpful school counselor, and they've formulated some clear plans for his education and goals. Alex is motivated, and diligently getting a lot of things done.
Hey, could you do me a favor, please? Check out Alex's submissions to Threadless, and vote for his designs. He's Charles the Cat, and he has some really great T-shirts that could be printed, if he gets enough votes. Since he's new to the game, he doesn't have the huge following other artists do, so his chances of winning are slim. He really needs votes and support. And there's good stuff... March of the Flamenguins? Hello. Hilarious. And for the donut shop contest: Dunkin'. A hot tubin', coffee loving donut. So cute! He also designed a beautiful cup of coffee, with a creamy profile in the joe. His first submission... the whimsical Accordion Cat. This art is good, fun, and totally T-shirt worthy!
Who's in the shop, as much, if not more, than Geoff? William. He has at least three projects on his work bench (i.e. the kitchen table) and even more in the works. I cannot do any of it justice, and he says he will start a blog so he can document what he's doing. The short answer is: William is prop making. You may recall, last year he was making tombstones. Now he's making a Graphophone. It won't play wax cylinders, but he hopes to modify it to play an iPod. He's making pirate sabers, metal and wood. He's making an excruciatingly historically accurate and detailed flintlock pistol. No, it will not fire. He's making a leather baldric, and soon I'll be teaching him how to follow a pattern, so he can sew his first garment... a vest. (Hopefully he'll let me keep all of this posted, because he's reluctant to have me give too much away.)
The chickens, in broad daylight, when they are healthy and alert, can make a good go of defending themselves. They are not pushovers, easy pickings. Two of our cats (who were not raised with chickens) never ever made any attempt to corner a chicken. In fact, they stay clear... as much out of fear as respect, I think. But we did have one kitty, who could never resist the stalk and the chase. Our Ferris Kitty had no qualms about going after the chickens, and even forced our bantam rooster to take refuge high above on a phone line! (Q: Can chickens fly? A: If need be.)