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Diana's Desginer Hens

October 1, 2009



Hello from the green coup. It has been a while since the last update on the girls. We lost two of our pack members and gained a puppy ( see Diana and Reuben on the EAT page for pics) and that has made our spring and summer a bit scattered. We have added a flower bed where the flood was on the last posting. The girls enjoy the view I am sure.



At a year and a half the girls are really coming into their beauty. Below you will see four pictures of different breeds. Featherduster is a Salmon Faverolle. They are not the smartest hens in the coup, and if they lived in muddy conditions their eggs would be VERY dirty. But they work great in our covered yard.



Moe is a Golden Polish. Again, not the smartest of the girls and if they lived in the wild it wouldn't be for long. Their vision is very limited by their topnotch. You will notice that the two in the coop that are the least smart, to put it nicely, are the two that have been most genetically engineered by people.



Robin is an Americauna, the ones that lay colored eggs. They are very friendly and about the middle of the pack in pecking order.



Thelma is a Gold Laced Wyandotte. Their feathers are absolutely gorgeous, and many of the Wyandottes are bred for show. There is a variety of colors in this breed. They are a bit suspicious and want their space from humans.



Speckles is a Speckled Sussex, and why wouldn't she be with a name like that. The Speckled Sussex are a very old breed from England and are at the top of the pecking order. Were they to roam free they would flourish. They are very friendly and bodacious! They try to escape every time we open the door to the lawn area! They love to hunt for worms. If they are out when I am gardening they are right on top of where I am digging scratching for the bugs I might uncover.



Big Mama is a Buff Orpington. They are very friendly and quiet...would make great pets. She holds her own in the pack!



And last is Black Beauty, the Black Australorp. She is my favorite. I think she is the prettiest of all. In the sun she shimmers iridescent green. Awesome. Very very friendly and dignified.



They have all come a long way since the day they came in the mail!



We have had some adventures this summer. Each chicken event makes me understand them more, which then makes me a better chicken caretaker. Two of the girls had to take a trip to the vet. One day I noticed one of the Sussex limping, and when I checked her foot she had what looked like a corn or wart on between her toes...kind of looked like a volcano. Her foot was hot from infection. When I checked all the rest of the girls I found one of the Golden Polish also had a sore toe. Again, the vet solution was DMSO, as when the other girl had a sprain. That and some oral antibiotics and they were as good as new again.

Two of the girls, a Faverolle and a Buff Orpington, went broody. That is chicken talk for thinking it was time to sit on eggs to hatch chicks. Of course I kept the eggs out from under them, but they were diligent for about two months!!! I had to take them off the nest twice a day and boot them into the yard for some fresh air and water and food! Their biological clocks were definitely ticking.

One day I went down to the coop to gather eggs and as I reached into one of the nests my jaw dropped and I had to do a double take to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing. A giant egg was in among the others. We have had a number of double yoked eggs, but this one was beyond double!!!! I picked it up in disbelief and thoughts of a ruptured chicken ran through my mind. By the time my head had cleared I realized I had been punked! I know exactly who it was. My daughter Debbie is a very clever girl and closest to the chicken world because of Reilly being my chicken helper. So I ran to the house (well, waddled hurriedly) and called her. I told her about this huge egg and that I was sure which chicken had laid it. I told her I was going to take her to the vet immediately, as I was sure she had internal injuries from the "delivery". Deb tried to talk me out of going, as it was Sunday and I was probably looking at a hundred dollar vet bill. Finally she copped to the crime!!!! They had been to Pike Street Market and saw the duck eggs and couldn't resist!



Summer is winding down and I am sorry to see it go, even though I love Autumn and all the color our trees share with us. I have a few pictures of cool things from the garden this summer. This is a Mouse Plant. Doesn't it look like a little mouse booty heading down a hole??!!



We found this awesome wasp nest in one of the trees ... a work of art!



We had two families of barn swallows in the light under the overhang of the garage...one left and the next day they were remodeling for family number two. They got so used to us that as we would go by the would stick their head over the nest and ask for bugs.



And lastly, this is a picture of Swiss Card-Northern Lights. You can see why it is named that. It is yummy in scrambled eggs!



That's it for now. I have to go play with Reuben. Diana

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