Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Ending the mystery (and a drum solo)
Months ago, when I first was considering the breeds of chickens I wanted to raise, I took into account a number of different things:
Temperament: Whether the breed is naturally docile, friendly, flighty, aggressive, etc.
Hardiness: Whether the breed is weather-hardy or needs special care in extreme hot or cold.
Size: How big the breed gets - I wanted to go for consistency as I'd read that you generally don't want to mix big and small together.
Eggs: What color eggs they would lay was important to me. Having spent a large portion of my childhood in Germany where brown eggs are the norm, I knew I wanted the majority of my eggs to be brown. However, I was very intrigued when I read about the Ameraucana/Easter Egger type hens. Apparently, these hens can lay various shades of blueish green or greenish blue eggs. I really wanted some of those!
Ultimately, all but one of my chicken breeds are friendly, fairly docile, weather-hardy, large birds. I have:
2 Rhode Island Reds
2 Silver-Laced Wyandottes (1 turned out to be Roopert the rooster)
2 Barred Rocks
2 White-Crested Black Polish (1 turned out to be Pip the rooster) - this is my exception breed. (They tend to be flighty and need a bit of special care.)
2 Black Sex Links (a.k.a. Black Stars)
1 Buff Orpington
1 Ameraucana...my "Sparrow", who was going to give me those cool green/blue eggs:
Long before the ladies began to lay, though, Sparrow was my special girl.
As a chick, she would fly from her brooder box to my lap where she would peacefully sit and watch the world around her:
She even loved being carried around the house, just 'hanging' with the family. She picked me to be her pal:
To this day, she sticks pretty close:
So, in addition to being a very engaging chicken (and one that kind of tugs at my heart), I couldn't wait to see her eggs.
Now, as you may have read here on my blog, my girls began laying on July 3rd of this year. But it wasn't until just the other day, that I was actually able to confirm what color eggs my Sparrow was laying. You see, until that point, not the slightest greenish or blueish hue was to be found on any of my eggs. So, either she wasn't laying, or...
Well, I was beginning to have my hunch. Like the day that I got 9 brown eggs from my 10 hens, the 10th hen being a white egg layer. The outlook was not good for me getting that rainbow egg basket I had been hoping for.
So, if you'd like to see what color egg Sparrow lays, watch the video below. Keep your eye on the white decoy egg in the nest:
Now I notice a couple of things here. Yup, the egg is brown:
But, she is also the first hen I've seen who lays eggs standing up!
Here's Sparrow admiring all the lovely BROWN eggs that she and her girlfriends lay:
They are pretty, aren't they? Even if none of them are Easter eggy?
This all makes sense, really. Sparrow just didn't want to lay greeny blue or bluey green eggs. My girl has always marched to her own beat.
And speaking of beats, there is this. Very short. Just for you.
My niece, Julia.