Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"Ain't no valley low enough"

Leave it to the sheep to give me plenty of blog fodder - and song lyrics to help me tell the stories! If you read my comment to my post yesterday, you know that Lois helped me come up with a solution to my problem, which I think was Browning more than Maria/Butter. I was feeling so much better about things as I headed to the barn to do chores this morning - until I got to the sheep fold just in time to see stiff, old Inky squeezing herself UNDER the chain-link at the bottom of the gate INTO where she and Butter are supposed to spend the night FROM Braveheart's pen! I had noticed yesterday that that area was a bit loose and damaged, but didn't give it the thought and attention that I obviously should have, especially since Inky HAS shown herself to be a bit pushy in testing fences and gates. So now I could be facing paternity testing on INKY'S offspring next spring, depending on when she lambs and what pattern(s) she produces! Again, since Franjean is only here for THIS breeding season, I would just as soon have all lambs born here next spring sired by his handsome gulmoget self, but does my vote really count? (Sorry, couldn't help myself there. :-)

Does this mean that Butter is a crawler, too, not a jumper? Perhaps, but I still think she must have jumped out the first time I found her in the main sheep fold. Interestingly enough, the lot she shared with Browning (and now Inky) has a 3' gate, and she's never jumped that. I'm guessing that in the bigger space she had enough room to evade Browning's bullying and felt no need to jump for safety - nor to get closer to either of the two rams within sight (and probaby smell; those boys are RIPE this time of year!).

Thankfully the chickens are easier to manage. They are enjoying autumn; when I let them out in the morning they immediately start eating the fallen leaves!
I'm convinced now that Welsie is laying. After checking the physical characteristics that Kathy told me to look for, I was pretty sure, but Sunday evening I found an egg in the middle of the muddy chicken yard - sure sign of a rookie. No, it wasn't a "chocolate" egg - more of a "chocolate chip" egg. Below are all five of the eggs colors produced by our hens (the flash affected the colors some). Clockwise after Ebony's green egg are Welsie's, a Rhode Island Red's, Tawny's, and Morgan's.
Here is a close-up (and more accurate, colorwise) look at Welsie's chocolate-chip egg.Welsie has developed quite the personality since arriving here. She has a distinctive voice, and talks to me a lot. Chickens - they provide art, sustenance, companionship and entertainment!

That's it for now . . .

6 comments:

Kathy said...

We used to actually set up lawn chairs in the pasture to watch the chickens! LOL! Of course Josie would be in my lap or on my head while I was watching her mates running around. She even used to make it to the deck, sit on the swing with me, and tell me all about what was going on in the barnyard. I kept towels there "just in case" Josie was visiting.

Kara said...

Great chicken photos. The egg pictures actually helped me id my first R.I. Red egg! :)

Sharon said...

Those chickens in the leaves provide such great color. They would be the perfect photo to use with the palette generator. In fact, I might just have to do that.

MiniKat said...

What type/breed of chickens do you have? They are so pretty!

My husband and I want to start keeping a flock when we move into our first owned house and I'm hoping for not white chickens like I see everywhere else.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Hi Minikat,

We have four different breeds, although two are Easter-Eggers which are not really a breed but a hybrid between Ameracaunas and other breeds. I would have a whole flock of them because they come in a rainbow of colors and so do their eggs! Alas, my husband has other preferences, so this is what we have: top photo in this post is a gold-laced Wyandotte; grey hen in the next three photos is one of the Easter-Eggers (the other one is a frosted-black color); the red ones in the bottom two photos are Rhode Island Reds, and we also have a Welsummer hen. If you put "chickens" in the search field at the top left of my blog window, Blogger will show you all the posts in which I've featured our chickens, so you can see photos of ALL of them. :-)

MiniKat said...

Wow. Thanks for the information. I can't wait to show the hubby. :-)