Wednesday, May 11, 2011
We've been considering getting some backyard chickens because chickens are just so much fun, and because they will help us by consuming kitchen and garden scraps which they will kindly turn into nice, fresh eggs. They will eat up bugs around the place, and generally do what chickens do. When the feed store down the road put out a sign the other day saying "Chicks are in!" we really couldn't resist, and came home with four little pullets.
I could sit and watch them for hours--we call it Chickie TV. There's something about little chicks--they are just so admirably suited to be chickens. They seem to be born knowing how to scratch around for food, and how to snuggle together for warmth. They are absolutely perfect in their chickenness, and I hope to be able to explain that statement in the weeks and months to come.
Here are the new girls, from the top: Margaret/Meg, Elizabeth/Lizzie, Albertina/Bertie-Mamma, and Hocky. The first three are so named (and I am assuming you are dying to know) because we just watched The King's Speech; and Hocky is named for the children's book by Lane Smith, The Happy Hocky Family, an old read-aloud favorite from my librarian days. (That's Hocky, not hockey).
Albertina's "Bertie" nickname is also a reference to our late and much beloved Bertie-Pierre.
Of course, Beez calls them by a completely different set of names, starting with Bellatrix LeStrange, but that's just the way he is. We take no notice of it.
Lizzie is a Rhode Island Red and Albertina is a Barred Rock. Meg and Hocky are Americaunas, a breed developed from Araucanas, also known as Easter Egg Chickens because of the green, blue, and pink eggs they lay.
Raising chickens in urban and suburban backyards has been catching on around the country. More about all that later. Right now, I have to go watch some more Chickie TV.