Bird of the Day: the Chocolate Cuckoo Orpington


Unfortunately, they have not been imported into the US yet apparently.

The world of chickens seems to be much brighter across the big water.  Dang, Europeans are classy!  Anyone who makes a hobby out of cultivating new and glamorous varieties of chickens is made of PURE CLASS!!

Check out to ogle over an enormous amount of rare orpington varieties...and to realize you cannot get them here.  :( :( :(

I hope someone somewhere is doing something about this.  Megan, we may have a project on our hands.

Settling in

My lovely Polish ladies are settling in wonderfully. 
They really look gorgeous against the pale pink interior of their coop home.

Clementine is really rocking a serious hairdo right now.

They are pretty much badasses.

Of course, Queen badass is still Queenie Puff Puff, head hen.

"You ain't got any raisins, you can just LEAVE."

Unlike the silkies, the Polish are really good at using the coop ladder. I need to install more rungs for them.

This little biddy is quickly becoming my favorite chick. Satchel is a doll!

Also, the Hellbore I have been waiting for finally flowered this week after TWO years of waiting.

Charlie is becoming quite the carpenter.

Day-old babies

Day old babies next to my 6 1/2 week old orpington hen

Next to an avocado

Olive eggers! That's right! As long as one of the little grey ones turns out to be a hen (fingers crossed), sometime in August I will have olive green eggs!  The black cuties are copper marans and will lay chocolaty brown eggs - again, as long as one is a hen! (fingers and feathers crossed).  I thought I could tell the difference between boys and girls, but since these guys are only hours old, I would've needed a magnifying glass.  I've never had chicks quite this young.  One of the grey ones is still a little wet from hatching a couple hours ago.

Bird of the Day: the Crele Polish

No explanation is really needed here.  I think we can all agree that this is the ultimate chicken.

Chick to Chic

It's hard to believe that it has been a whole year since my husband and I were nomads in Walla Walla living in my sister's basement. But here we are one year later, and we've gone from chick to chic!  I had the chance to visit my sister in Walla Walla yesterday, and visit her flock.  Last year she brought home many chicks and could very well be the reason that I've gotten into chickens myself.  Her beautiful coop and flock are looking lovely on this unusually warm February morning and she even has snowdrops coming up in her yard!

                                                             Little Pamela the frizzle
                                                              Olga the polish hen
        And Cleo the easter egger. These girls are now one year old, and I remember keeping them in a box in the basement last February!

An exemplary chicken paradise!  Thank you Margo!

New ladies in the coop...

Yesterday I picked up 3 lovely Polish ladies from a couple nearby. After their first night together with the others I think they will all be a good fit for each other. Queenie Puff Puff has declared herself head hen, a significant victory for a little white silkie. She did it with minimal pecking, which I certainly appreciate. 
They are all early to rise, but my original girls are also early to bed, usually roosting down before the sun has even set, and of course they seem to think that nesting boxes are bedrooms. It is a habit I have given up on breaking, instead I just scoop the poo for the garden.
The Polish girls are night owls. Clementine (the buff beauty) and her comrades (who I am still trying to name) like to stare out there huge window door for awhile, until maybe it has been dark for 2 hours, then they all scurry to their respective perches, one in her own nesting box suite, the other actually on the roost (excellent), and the 3rd seems to be really into the actually roof area itself, nestling herself into the eaves. 
Of course this has only been the first night and all of this might change, but I am enjoying getting to know each of the girls personalities and how they interact. It has been a pleasure!

Human Coop part 2.

That was frightening, wasn't it?! I'm still scared because I am going to own that soon.

Lets ignore the peeling plaster, holes, and lack of a kitchen and instead focus on the fireplaces. 

It is going to need a severe amount of work. It also needs electrical, plumbing, and heat. And insulation. The list goes on and one, but this is right up my alley. This house makes me feel like a school girl. I am impatient to start drywalling after the professionals give us electricity and h2o.

I did some historical research on the properties past and found this background on the first owner of the house:
John Pickett was born in County Clare, Ireland, and in 1852 he emigrated and came to Washington, Pa. He secured work by the day with what is now the B. & O. Railroad and soon proved his value to his employers. Through his kindness of heart, however, he lost his position, the facts being that when the first engine used on the construction work here was left in his charge when it was run on a side track, he was ordered to harbor no tramps within its warm interior. This was during the panic of 1877, when many people were forced out of employment and many also were but poorly provided to withstand the rigors of the winter. When these people, on their way to other sections, came upon Mr. Pickett's engine, they had little difficulty in persuading him to give a night's shelter. This was creditable to him as a man, but was clearly against orders and when the company found it out, he was discharged. Nevertheless he prospered, later was elected and served for some years as street commissioner, and after retiring from that office, engaged in contracting.

Isn't that lovely?! The attic is also filled with boxes and boxes of antique glass Christmas ornaments, which is also making the entire spread even more tempting. I even created a blog for the house I do not yet own, and for the sake of keeping this more chickeny I will forward you there for future updates. Hopefully I will get to put it to use within the next couple of months...

The Humans Need a Coop too.

Wow, I know it has been a little while, and I have good reason for the neglect. Will and I have found a 1900 Colonial we want to buy within the next few months. It has six fireplaces, 4 floors, a huge stepped yard, and is rich with history.

Its great right? Well, lets go inside....:

Great porch!

Pretty glass over double doors!

To be continued.

Cabbage Tether ball: a Bust

I guess if I expect my girls to eat cabbage, I should stop feeding them marshmallows.

Although there was initial interest, the draw of the cabbage was not great enough to overcome the unpopular swinging motion of the cabbage.  I've seen this done on youtube!  They must starve their chickens before they take out the cabbage tether ball!  These hens did not have a taste for it.

Although the games were canceled due to lack of sportsmanship, the sun came out and felt soo good!!  Feathers were all a ruffle.

watch the excitement here:

Poño thought it was quite the B-team sort of game.

Rose Colored Ceilings.

Well, the ladies have spent 2 evenings now in their new coop home.

They love it, but it still needs trim work.

The inside, however, is spectacular.

3 1/2 week old lavender orpingtons

They're all knees and elbows.  Man, and I thought my feet grew out of proportion to my body.  I take it back, this is ridiculous!

Stealing the Show

In an attempt to showcase my new ameraucanas: Carlotta, Winona and Fresia, the limelight was hijacked by this nosy biddy.  Stella is my buff orpington who was given to me by my sister because she kept escaping from her enclosure.  She is curious and demanding. Although she has taken the number one spot in the hen house from Atilla the hen, she is always cordial to new chickens I bring home.  Usually trying to integrate new chickens into a preexisting flock is a little violent as they reorganize their "pecking order".  The words  "pecking order" and "henpecked" are so accurate!  Stella is a rare exception and only gets beaky when there are chicken treats involved.

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