Saturday, March 15, 2008

Farm Fresh Egg

Well, yes, it has been a long time since I last posted. (I suppose most of my posts will begin with a remark something like that..)

There have been plenty of happenings here in the last 4.5 months, but this one can't go without a post. Last evening, March 14, I was standing by the coop, saying to RG, "No eggs yet." And as I said this I opened the coop door and what to my wondering eyes did appear!! [ Not a miniature sleigh with 8 tiny reindeer, no.] EGG NUMBER ONE!!!! And there was the creator, Penny, my number one hen, looking at it. I suppose she was wondering where that came from.

Next day, today, I was out visiting the chickens and I found another. This one was not in a nest box, but laying right out in their little yard. It had been pecked at. Oh, dear. I don't know if this one came before or after last night's prize, but it is certainly NOT a Good Thing that somebody took a peck at it. Fortunately, it was not actually broken open, so I don't think anyone has developed a taste for eggs. But I will have to be vigilant about looking for eggs now.

At this point, Penny (As in "Henny") is the only hen laying. She is the sole surviving hen from the initial flock of chicks. There are also two roos from that flock, named Popeye and Bluto. All three from this flock are quite tame, and I have grown fond of them. [Translation: They won't be in a soup pot anytime soon.] And in fact, Popeye actually loves me back. He literally PURRS when he sees me. In addition, we have 8 hens and 2 roos from a second batch of chicks that we received in November. None of these are quite as tame, as they have always been part of a larger flock and did not get handled daily as the 3 survivors did. The hens from this flock are living outside in the coop with the first 3, and the two roos are still living in the garage, in their own coop, custom-built by RG the handyman. These two are on a meat-bird feed. They aren't outside because they get into fights with Popeye and Bluto. Bloody fights too.

Other BHF Developments:
Now, really, the Goats at BHF deserve their own post, and many of them. This is where I have really dropped the blogger's ball. In November, RG, T and I drove to Maine and purchased two South African Boer goats, Kelli and Taco. Kelli is a lovely 4 yo fullblood red doe, and Taco is a paint yearling wether (neutered male). At the moment, Kelli is "vacationing" in Amsterdam, NY. She is there to be bred to a very handsome red buck. When Kelli comes home in late April, she will be accompanied by two, maybe three other fullbred does, each bred to a different buck. The pictures below are of Kelli and Taco in Maine before we picked them up, and below that a slideshow of them here at home last December, before the snow came.


Also in April, we will bring home two freshened Saanen does. Saanens are dairy goats. (Boers are a meat breed.) "Freshened" means that they have just kidded and are milking. The arrival of these does will really represent a paradigm shift for us. These gals will need milking every day, twice a day until the fall. Heh heh. You may never hear from me again!!

To accommodate our lovely goats, we got a little barn dropped in back last fall. Unfortunately, it didn't get here in time for Kelli & Taco, who are housed temporarily in our storage shed.

The last little thing I will report now is the addition of an enclosed porch onto the back of our house. It doesn't have doors and windows yet; those will be put on in the spring. It was built over our patio. So far it has saved us from the snow/ice buildup that we used to get in front of the kitchen door. This summer it will be a great place to enjoy the outdoors, sans insects and blazing sun. This fine porch was built by J Mabb Construction.

Well there is more but I think I'm going to save it for another post. This one is getting too long.
There are more pictures of chickens, coops, goats etc at the web album below. Look for another update when we eat our first egg. Right now it is safely in the fridge. We haven't decided how to eat it. Sunnyside up is my vote.

BHF March 2008

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2 comments: said...

"Penny" is a nice name ;-) and she's really cute. Congratulations on your first eggs!

Have you enjoyed the goats? I'm really looking forward to getting goats here. Hopefully that will happen in the next few months. It's great your getting some milkers - fresh milk and cheese! I look forward to reading about your adventures in this.

Take care,

Suz said...

Thanks :) We have 9 hens total, and another one or two of them is now laying as well. We don't know which one. Several are getting pretty red combs so I'm expecting a pile of eggs out there someday soon. It is so cute: the beginner's eggs are very small.. Penny is now making pretty large ones and every so often a GIANT one. See the "Primordial Egg" post.

And oh yes, we do love the goats. In fact I just had another look at our goat pix up there.. I do miss Kelli.. she has been in NY since the beginning of March. She has been bred now and should come home in the next few weeks.

In her absence, Taco has become even more personable. He now comes over for a scratch behind the ears... he used to only really pay attention to me if I had a handful of corn or another snack.