Thursday, December 05, 2013

Egg Watch 2013

"Good farmers," I imagine, record specific details about their flocks, and herds, and flamboyances. They must document dates, hatching days, and birthdays, so that they can keep track of their tribes, litters, and confusions. Then, they might have a better notion of when to expect... oh, say, eggs from their chickens. For instance, if I could recall the date when our chicks, from July, hatched, then I could calculate, with greater certainty, whether it's too soon to expect those big-fat-hens to be laying eggs. They certainly look ready to be laying.

Roughly speaking, our chicas hatched in July. Early July. And chicks need between 20 and 24 weeks to mature and begin laying... excuse me a moment... (takes off shoes so she can count fingers and toes).

Aha! This is week 22, since their hatching. More or less. And so, I really shouldn't be too insistent with my big-fat-hens about eggs, not just yet.

Henceforth, I will revise my expectations, lay-off harassing them for ovum, and just continue enjoying the hens for their company and charms.

Good morning, chicas!

Oh. Did I say "charms?"

Hmmm... well, I cannot say what I find charming about that wicked, hawk-eyed gaze, but nonetheless, for some reason my chickens do charm me.

Life in the open air barn is interesting.
Inara Rabbit was licking Mako's tail feathers.
I have no explanation for this behavior.

Also weird.
I have no explanation for this, either. But I do love my goaters.

Good morning, Liberty Cuckoo Maran. You are the smallest of the big-fat-hens, and you are pretty, and you do not have to lay an egg today.

Good morning, Mako Ameraucana. You have an Alaskan Whaler's beard, which is soft and darling, and you do not have to lay an egg today.

Good morning, Lilikoi Buff Orpington. Oh my goodness are you a plump and darling feathered big-fat-hen, and though you love to peck my back and feet and knees and fingers, I love you. You do not have to lay an egg today.

Good morning, Thomson Cuckoo Maran. You look like Thompson, and Tamsyn, and you are always the last hen to come in after free-ranging in the yard. We will not ask you to lay an egg for us, today, nor tomorrow.

No nesting. No laying. No eggs. Not yet, but soon.

The truth is I am not all that concerned about eggs, or dates. I am a happy farmer, a silly and amused, sometimes bemused farmer. It's enough, for me, to sit with these freaky-feathered fowl, and note their activities, observe their habits, and enjoy their behaviors. I love chickens. And goats. And rabbits.

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