Monthly Archives: February 2013

Mutant Egg

“All’s I can say is that I feel verrrrrry sorry for whichever of the girls laid THAT egg,” my husband said last night. I agreed. The egg was HUGE! So huge, I had to take a pic to compare the size with the some of the other eggs laid, complete with a tape measure to show just how big the darn thing was. See for yourself.

mutant-egg

Obviously I’m talkin’ about the egg on the far right, which was nearly 3 inches long!! I’ve never seen an egg that big. It literally spanned the length of my palm. Now you feel sorry for her, too, dontcha?

I cooked that bad boy up for breakfast this morning and was not surprised to find it was a double-yolk. We’ve had lots of double-yolk eggs since the girls started laying again after being on strike the last few months. They must have extra yolks stored up after molting and the shorter days of winter. Or maybe they are just trying to make it up to us as we were getting very frustrated with having to buy organic eggs from the store. They are so expensive and taste so bland compared to ours. Luckily for us, we are getting about eight eggs per day so the drought is over!

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The Roo had to Go!

No, we didn’t eat him. We thought about it but decided we weren’t quite ready for the whole slaughtering/butchering thing yet. Here’s the deal: Kanga, our beautiful roo, grew to be very large and very bossy with the girls, as I’m sure all roosters do. Then he turned six months old and the fun really started. Crowing at 4 AM, then crowing a LOT during the day, and terrorizing one of our hens (I’m sure he was just trying to mate with her but she was really unhappy about the whole thing). As I’ve explained we live in a semi-rural area, it’s a little strange. The half of the street we live on is zoned Single Family Residential; however, the houses/lots behind us are zoned Agricultural as is the other half of our street which consists of an olive tree orchard. Two doors down is home to seven roosters, but what makes us different is that we have neighbors on both sides as you would in a normal suburban neighborhood. Told ya it was strange. Long story short, the neighbors are our friends (we’ll call them J & J) and we wanted to keep it that way. They never complained about Kanga, preferring to be polite and wait for us to figure it out. Then one day my husband was awakened by the 4 AM crowing. And the next day. And the next day. So you can imagine we were concerned about J & J being disturbed by this. We brought it up to them soon after the third morning to which they replied, “Oh, yeah. He’s been doing that for a couple of weeks.” The HORROR!! We felt like the most inconsiderate, evil neighbors ever. We made the tough decision that Kanga had to go, despite how gorgeous he was (see pics below) and the fact he was an asset to the flock. J & J’s sanity had to be the priority so off Kanga went in late December to a local rescue on a farm. He had to have been a good ten pounds. It’s amazing to see a little, tiny two-day old chick grow that quickly into such a magnificent bird, and I do miss him. Not to mention I thought the name I came up with was pretty nifty.

kanga2     kanga3    kanga1
Kanga at about five months old.            Kanga the day he left us.               This pic is just for scale. Big boy!

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Another Death, Some New Life

Hello Friends! It’s been a while. Things always get crazy around the holidays and there’s a lot of news from the coop to report! First the bad news…

Sept. 13, 2012: Been away on vacation for a week when we get a panicked phone call from our neighbors, who are taking care of the girls, at about 7:30p. They were putting the girls in the coop for the night when one started convulsing violently and died, right in front of our poor neighbors. They were absolutely mortified and felt so bad; so did we but we felt worse about our neighbors having to see that than the hen dying. Who wants to go through that?? The hen that died had shown only mild signs of being ill, such as a few sneezes here and there but that’s it so her death kind of surprised us. She was the same breed as the hen we tried to save when we first started out with chickens (see “Chickens Sneeze?!” post below) so I can’t say we were really shocked. We had bought both at the same time from the same lot, and in looking back at that experience they were in a cage with one other bird of the same breed that didn’t look too good. Hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it? So if I haven’t already said this, be SURE that you know where the birds you are buying came from and if any of them look ill then assume they are.

Upon returning from vacation, I decided to get more hens since I have friends and family clamoring for eggs constantly. (They really are super delicious. I have a hard time eating store-bought eggs anymore, which we’ had to do a LOT until recently since the girls were on strike. I digress…) SO: I found myself at the local feed store at the beginning of October buying six more girls, all of which were about two months old. The separated coop came in handy as it was time to move the roo and his sister into the main flock, and the new girls took over their half. We now have 13 hens and they are laying like crazy—finally! We are getting on average eight eggs per day, so that’s keeping my “customers” happy.

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