Saturday, May 29, 2010

Petticoat Junction

We had some friends over this week for "chicken drinks" which I think should become a regular ritual. Great company, good wine and chicken watching. It's very relaxing to watch the girls wonder around the yard. My friend Paige received an unexpected visit from Blackberry, jumped right on her lap. That's Blackberry for you.

The fun part of chicken watching is when the girls, suddenly and without reason, take off running. Wings flapping, feathers flying, squeals of excitement. As quickly as it starts, it stops. They all go back to grazing, bent over with petticoats in the air. Fluffy rumps and ruffles shining in the sun.

So when my blog buddy Stephy sent this poem, I had to share it.

A Glossary of Chickens
by Gary Whitehead

There should be a word for the way
they look with just one eye, neck bent,
for beetle or worm or strewn grain.

“Gleaning,” maybe, between “gizzard”
and “grit.” And for the way they run
toward someone they trust, their skirts
hiked, their plump bodies wobbling:
“bobbling,” let’s call it, inserted
after “blowout” and before “bloom.”

There should be terms, too, for things
they do not do—like urinate or chew—
but perhaps there already are.

I’d want a word for the way they drink,
head thrown back, throat wriggling,
like an old woman swallowing
a pill; a word beginning with “S,”
coming after “sex feather” and before “shank.”

And one for the sweetness of hens
but not roosters. We think
that by naming we can understand,
as if the tongue were more than muscle.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rosy Cheeks

Satsuki has been sporting her red features for about two weeks. Her comb, cheeks and the area around her eyes get more red each day. Meanwhile, the other girls are just now starting to show their rosy cheeks. Each one looks like they have just applied a bit of blush. 
I too had rosy cheeks today as the outside temp reached 85 degrees. The girls all walked around with their mouths open. They looked much like panting dogs. We made sure they had plenty of water and their coop is in the shade. 
Between panting and dust baths, the girls spent much of their time grazing on the wild strawberries. They were also treated to some lettuce and the last piece of bread. Finally someone in this family that enjoys the heel!
Meanwhile, I followed the girls around like paparazzi with my new camera. Saffron constantly poses for me and has become my muse. I love all of her pretty colors and features, especially those big, beautiful, yellow feet.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lazy Weekend

Last weekend involved Mother's Day brunch, lots of cleaning, cooking and running around. It was, however, the best Mother's Day ever. My fantastic in-laws gave me a Canon Rebel XSi. The brunch menu highlighted goods from many of our local farmers and was de-lish! Shawn is a fantastic culinary artist.  Fantastic food and fantastic company.

This weekend, we took things easy. We saw Iron Man 2, went to a book sale, ate dinner with friends and experimented with our csa veggies.
I also spent a lot of time with my new camera in hand. The chicks like to pose for me, especially Saffron. 

The girls roosted, preened, napped and ate. 

We have added crushed oyster shells to their coop. They will eat this as needed. The ground shells (or grit) help break down the food they eat. We have teeth, they have grit.
While the other girls did their thing, Mei decided to relax in a nice, cool dust bath. What a ham?!
We have a lot of folks asking, so when will the girls start laying eggs? Our best guess is July or August. We can't wait, but until then we are purchasing our eggs from Evergreen Dairy Farm at the downtown Memphis Farmers Market.

We'll keep you posted!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

High and Dry

We are happy to report that the girls made it through two days of storms and four tornado warnings just fine. The ground was mostly dry today, so the ladies came out for a stroll.
Blackberry was excited that the new Anthropologie catalog arrived.
As was Saffron.
She really loves the new Ylang Ylang sandals.
Then Blackberry got an idea.
She stretched and strained.

Sneak attack. Hopped right onto my back as I was bent over taking photos.

Quickly made her way to my shoulder.
Tried to eat my earring.

Tried to eat my sweater.
Rode around for a bit.
Then retired to the coop to tell the other girls of her adventure.