Thursday, April 08, 2010

Going to the Country

So if in mid-March Ives the Rooster was not yet crowing, let me assure you that this week, he is. He started with some practice crows in the afternoon. If you've ever heard a boy's voice change, you know what Ives sounded like. Also, about the time Ives was practicing his scales, his ladies, Coco and Chanel started laying eggs.

A variety pack of backyard eggs. The white one on the left is a duck egg; the dark brown ones are Maran eggs; the lighter brown eggs (including the tiny egg!) are assorted Wyandotte, Astralorp, Orpington, and Rhode Island Red eggs. And yes, I am thinking about getting an Araucana hen or two!

Being new hens, Chanel and Coco are also practicing, but they are concentrating on production techniques. We know from past experience that in addition to size variations, contents are not yet standardized. Kind of like a Kinder Surprise, except sometimes there's a Sanity Roll waiting for you when you crack open the egg. So we're going to wait a bit before offering those lovely chocolatey-brown eggs for sale to our neighbors.

But in the meantime, there is Ives and his crowing. He's finished practicing now. All the birds are noisy, even the ducks, and I wouldn't mind (nor would my neighbors, I suspect) if he contained his crowing to daylight hours. But all week he's been crowing lustily for upwards of half an hour right at dawn. I suspect my neighbors are not on board with that.

Ives and his ladies...and Marilyn. She and her cohort, Pearl, rule with an iron beak. Greg calls them Patty and Selma.

When I got these three Marans back in, what was it? November? I said when the cockerel became a problem I'd off him. Because I wanted to know if I could. Then Lola got sick and I had to off her—at which point I was certain I didn't want to raise meat chickens. So I've been bummed that Ives insists on crowing at dawn, and that we live smack-dab in the middle of town. If he was mean, it'd be easy to kill him. But he's not! He's super mellow.

Earlier this week the woman I take riding lessons from asked me how the chickens addition to horses and chickens [was that an earthquake?] she has cats and sheep. I told her the hens were fine, but the rooster...that's when she said, "Bring him here!" YES. Problem solved.

[Yeah, a 4.5 on the Gorda Plate. That was weird.]

So tomorrow Ives is going to the farm, and this time it is NOT a euphemism. How nice. I'm glad he's gonna live.

Isn't that a handsome lad? Too bad about the crowing.

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