Better than the Toys-R-Us Big book! Yesterday afternoon, I received the catalog from the Murray McMurray Hatchery that I ordered. Pictures of all the different types of chickens (and other birds) and information about them. Everyone was fighting for their chance to see it. Amazing. YOU too can see the Murray McMurray info at their site (and order a catalog for yourself if you are so inclined) at www.mcmurrayhatchery.com. Enjoy!
Obviously, Gord taught me how to add pictures to my blog! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you!
You may have created a monster…
We got our original batch of five chickens from a neighbor’s son-in-law who lives in New Braunfels. We told him we wanted five girls. He brought a big cage of assorted chickens over one Sunday afternoon and we picked out five cute ones which we named Sweetie Pie, Daisy, Aunt Bea, Harriet and Stevie.
Too our chagrin, we found out as they got a little older, that we actually had four roosters and only one hen! Erin, smarty-pants, informed Steve and I that “that’s why we don’t have any eggs Mom! Boys don’t lay eggs! Duh!”
So, Steve “took care” of the problem…
Check out the side of our barn! I finished this today. It is my first public artwork.
Chicken Bea, the Rhode Island Red, is getting a little TOO friendly! Erin has most of the chickens eating out of her hand. But Chicken Bea, when all the snacks are gone, is not ready to quit eating!!! She was pecking at Erin’s hearing aids and ear lobes looking for more tasty things.
I started painting a Texas flag on the side of our barn today. The finished flag will be 10 feet high by 15 feet wide. As I was putting on the second coat of white paint on the white section this afternoon, I heard a loud “baa”. I turned around on my scaffolding and noticed that what I thought was just painting the side of a barn had turned into performance art. I had an audience of sheep! Mrs. Bigglesworth and Pearl were raptly watching what I was doing. I do not truly think they have a real interest in art. I just think they were hoping I would hop down and give them a snack.
Whew! The Gillespie Stockyard in Fredericksburg sells sheep and goats every Tuesday. So, as we had two rams more than we needed, we decided to catch them and take them up to Fredericksburg yesterday afternoon. Easier said than done…
Steve has one arm in a sling and is not supposed to move his shoulder (rotater surgery last week Tuesday). Macho as he is, he can not catch a 100 lb. + ram one-handed. He DID lure them all (16 sheep total) up to the pen with some feed (they normally just graze) and caught them in the pen.
We borrowed our next-door neighbors trailer and in the process Delores and I loaded up two goats (much, much tamer and easier to handle than the sheep) that she and Jerry wanted to send to market. (Jerry was working and wouldn’t be back until after dark.) Steve had to maneuver the trailer for this as I haven’t yet learned to drive it in reverse – that’s my next lesson. He then drove over and backed it next to our pen (all one-handed) so we could load our sheep.
Well, I couldn’t track down any of my normal neighbor-helper men to catch the rams, so I thought I would try it. The pen that the 16 sheep were caught in is about 8′ by 20′. So, I got in the pen… The sheep are very skittish and group together with those big old boys hiding behind all the ewes and lambs (they look mean but they are weenies!) I first tried to catch them by just grabbing them by the horns like I have seen my neighbors Stephen and John do. But I couldn’t quite get them. During this nuttiness, one of the rams kicked my wrist. Well, that REALLY p___ssed me off! So Steve brought me a lasso and I snagged Buck (he is the ram that led all of the sheep astray before Steve got home, but that is another story…) Steve and I each had him by a horn and wrestled him into the trailer with a nice kick in the b_tt from Steve. We then caught Joe (he is a big, beautiful mostly black ram whose horns were already almost curved around) and again, we each got a horn and wrestled him in.
We also wanted to take Orphan Annie (a strange looking ewe who showed up with Joe – she was very dark and kind of sway-backed and just not quite the same look as the other sheep.) She has no horns, so I roped her around the neck, grabbed her front legs, and picked her up. She had definitely porked up grazing here since she showed up a few weeks ago. I am not sure exactly what she weighed, but I think she was in excess of 50 lbs.
Now, had we been smart enough to video these activities, Steve assures me I could have been famous on “Funnies Home Videos”. As it is though, you will just have to use your imagination.
I’ll start with the newest news first…
We bought three new hens Friday from “Poultry in Motion” out of Utopia. Chicken Bea, a Rhode Island Red; Stu, a Black Sex-Link; and Daisy May, an Araucana. All three girls are settling in nicely with Sweetie Pie (the rooster – he’s a Barred Rock) and Harriet (she is some type of Bantee – not sure which). Each of the girls laid an egg today! Harriet’s eggs are little brown eggs about the size of a filled, chocolate Cadbury Easter egg. Chicken Bea and Stu lay brown eggs about the size of a regular large egg. Daisy May lays light pink eggs! Very pretty!
All the new hens seem very sweet and Erin spent a lot of time IN the coop with them today. (I will post a picture of that too soon!)
Here is Sweetie Pie: