"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." — E.B. White

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chicken Mysteries, answers & GIVEAWAY

Here on our crazy farm we've had more than our share of oddness from critters.
But our latest mystery has certainly been colorful!
We've had our own Easter Egg hunts lately.
I know. It's too early you say.

And yes, hens do leave eggs in odd places, but we were finding blue eggs now n then. 
The Araucana breed or crosses known as Easter Eggers are known to lay colored eggs...

 But we don't have any of those.
or do we...?

We bought our newest chicks (labeled as Plymouth Barred Rocks) off craigslist.
The Farmer actually got them for me on my birthday in July.

Maybe we were sold a misidentified bird!?

I've only had some that look like this, tho I knew there was some color variation.

Well the timing of our mystery was perfect in one way.
I was selected by Storey Publishing to review Gail Damerow's newest book
It's actually called  The Chicken Encyclopedia.

As soon as it came I eagerly opened it and looked up Araucanas.
And immediately learned A LOT!

Araucanas and Ameraucanas (the crosses) have several different distinguishing traits...
One of which is a smaller 'pea comb!"

Sing along w/Sesame Street -One of these things is not like the other.
This one has a "pea comb"

And on another note... The Chicken Encyclopedia has all sorts of neat facts!
I liked the chicken blinders picture and definition that reads " a plastic device that resembles a pair of tiny sunglasses, sometimes used to prevent or control cannibalism by blocking vision so a chicken can't see directly ahead to aim a peck."  Wouldn't a chicken wearing those be too funny (and perfect for our funny farm)?!
Hen on left would've appreciated it if her roost mate had worn blinkers!

I guess I should be happy we find any eggs before the cats n dogs eat 'em all!

(Do you remember how tiny "Smores" was when we got her?
She's sure got a buddha belly, as opposed to a baby belly, now!)

So, how bout you??? 
Have you bought or hatched out chicks that weren't at all what you expected?!?
Please leave me a comment telling me about what you were expecting and what you got, OR what chickens you WISH you could get, and you'll be entered to win your very own copy of this great book!

One entry will be randomly drawn. Per Storey’s request, this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Please include an email link if not attached to your profile and check back for winner TBA on National Poultry Day ~ March 19.
Here’s the list of other participating blogs and their tour dates from Storey's site:
Please visit them all for more fun facts and chances to win Gail's great book!

3/2 For the Love of Chickens
3/3 Vintage Garden Gal
3/4 The Garden Roof Coop
3/5 Common Weeder
3/6 Chickens in the Road
3/7 Garden Rant
3/8 Fresh Eggs Daily
3/9 My Pet Chicken Blog
3/10 Coop Thoughts
3/11 BoHo Farm and Home
3/12 Happy Chickens Lay Healthy Eggs
3/13 A Charlotte Garden
3/14 Farm Fresh Fun
3/15 The HenCam
3/16 Life on a Southern Farm
3/17 ADozenGirlz, the Chicken Chick™
3/18 North Coast Gardening


Sara Sweatman said...

I love your kitties they are so adorable. So far we have not had any surprise chicks - other than the ones I got and said surprise to my husband! Number one on my want list is Black Copper Marans. I love all the different colored eggs.

Simple Life Homestead - Chickenblog said...

Love your blog - eager to be part of the drawing, thanks!


Lisa said...

Well, we went in to buy day old chicks and we got day old chicks. Never having had chickens before we weren't sure what to expect p, in spite of reading many many books from our local library. However great the library is, it has NO books from Storey on chickens, so I would love a copy of the book, thanks!

Anonymous said...

We are the lucky guardians of 15 fabulous chickens that we have nurtured since May of 2011 when we got them in the mail as chicks. The 3 varieties we ordered were all there plus a "bonus" chick- so 6 of one type! We had ordered them sexed and thought the company had nicely sent us an extra, in case one didn't make the journey, etc...after a few months one of the pullets was behaving very aggressively and starting to grow feathers in strange places. Yup, you guessed it, a rooster. Certainly a surprise for us! thanks for entering us in the drawing... surfingthesandbar at yahoo dot com.

Bart and Jessica said...

Chicken drama is rampit in our yard. The eggs are safe but we had some baby Bantams escape their mom and provide a nice snack to our 2 dogs... so our recent purchase of 12 red (exact type will be a suprise) pullets and 2 ducklings are currently in a large tub (size increased becasue they almost escaped)in a back room of our house recieving lots of love from 2 amazing kids and the occasional cat looking for a snack. No worries this time there is wire mesh on the tub so there will be no escaping or snacking.

Happy Chickening

RoosterBooster said...

Love that Buddha Belly on your Baby!
DocVBK at MSN dot com

Rhubarbra said...

My rhubarb is up! I hope the chooks don't get it! They ate my lilac buds!

Jenna Gayle said...

I'd love to add a couple of Marans to my flock! Maybe I can talk the hubby into getting "just a few more!" LOL!! I'd love to be entered into the drawing!

Marie said...

We had some awesome hybrid chickens, hens and a roo from the same parentage. Since they were hybrids, we didn't know what to expect in their offspring.

The chicks were all over the color spectrum! They all had the same body type and size but they feathered out with everything from light cream to dark red, with lots of golden. Most were barred or speckled. Some less attractive than others, but to me all chickens are cute!

Anonymous said...

I actually wasn't expecting to get chickens at all. Through a series of mishaps and miscommunications, I was very surprised one morning to receive a phone call from the local farm supply store telling me that my 2 dozen chicks were in! I'm very happy to have them, though, and I wouldn't change anything.

sista said...

Our surprise wasn't really a surprise. Our silkie hen hatched 4 Khaki Campbell ducklings for us. After some drama (which you can read about on my blog welcometothehenhouse.blogspot.com) all four are doing well. I would love to have some Lavender Orpingtons to add to my flock. They look awesome.

PurrfectPetSitting said...

We are getting our first chicks ever on 4/20, hopefully we have no surprise 'roos'!

brooke said...

We got twelve baby girls and four ended up being roosters. Mean ones. One attcked me in the barn, I kicked itto defend myself but it kept coming. Josh's next day off all four roosters ended up on the table.

Debbie Allen said...

I wasn't planning on chickens, yet. I took my granddaughters to the county youth fair and we won a raffle for a really cool poultry carrier--so of course, we had to buy some chicks from the 4H poultry club!! We got 3 Buff Orpingtons and 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes. Hopefully they will all be hens!!!
Obviously, I could really use the book, so please enter me in the drawing, lol!

Vintage Country Girl said...

We have the "easter egg" chickens that give us a greenish/blue egg. They are so pretty. I wish I had MORE of them!

Terri said...

I love your page, chickens, eggs and would LOVE to have this book!
I am only recently able to have chickens again~second time ever, first being 20+ years ago. Before we had 3 laying hens and a turkey, now we only have one laying hen and a beautiful rooster. The hen is golden-reddish and the rooster is black and red and iridescent turquoise. We are getting some chicks next month. Can't wait! Thank you, Terri Kent in Potlatch Idaho USA terrilee7k@gmail.com

Merrilee said...

I have been lucky to get some Araucaunas, and although the bright green/blue egg color wasn't a surprise, I am surprised by how they won't let anything in the nest! They kick and fluff every bit of straw or other nesting material out until it's bare! But I don't care as long as they lay something!Thanks for the giveaway opp- book looks great!

Patrice said...

We hatched out some misc. eggs, so we didn't know what to expect. The chicks were such a variety of colors. It was kind of cool. Please enter me.

Trina said...

Hi - I would love to have Welsummer chickens - and learn all about keeping them. Please enter me to win the encyclopedia! And thanks for your fun pictures and experiences.

Deborah in Atlanta said...

I'm anxiously awaiting my first eggs from any or all of my 5 girls. Don't know what color the eggs will be but definately not white I hope. Love the pixs of your cats and glad I found your blog. Deborah in Atlanta (omahaflash@bellsouth.net)

Anonymous said...
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SHANA said...

We are actually planning now for our spring chicks and since I have plenty of brown eggs we are getting all easter eggers. Yay! Love the green and blue eggs so much. Such a pretty addition. we are also about to venture into guineas...we shall see.

Lori O'Brien Photography said...

Well I do believe thats how we ended up with 3 roosters!!

Kim said...

Hi Leslie,
We have had chickens for quite sometime. My husband showed chickens when in school and so he put our kids in 4-H and they also showed chickens. So we have had chickens around for awhile. My husband is good about knowing what kind of chickens he is buying, but back in August we went to an auction that sell lots of different kinds of chickens and farm birds. My husband bid on some white leggers and won. We brought them home, and when time for them to start laying eggs, their eggs were a pretty off white, little darker than eggshell white. Of course my husband knew that they were a mix breed but still not sure what kind. They sometimes will have a speck of black come in there feathers, so they are not true to their breed.
Have a blessed day on your farm,
Kim in OK

AstoundMeGo said...

unfortunately, i've never hatched from eggs. but i sure love the day the post office calls to say i have a peeping package :)

Anonymous said...

My husband rescued a few chickens from an older farmer that was going to cull them because they were old layers in a bad molt. 5 of them were just your basic RIR's but 1 was a very plain white one with a tiny little comb. She laid the most beautiful blue eggs. We had her for a few years & her eggs even took a blue ribbon at the county fair. She died last summer & I really miss that 1 blue egg in the basket of browns. Please enter me in book drawing. badmunki68@yahoo.com

Lisa Cox said...

I ordered some Silkie eggs from a breeder. They were supposed to be blue/black/and splash. What hatched was white, partridge, cuckoo, and a funky looking calico thing. It didn't really matter to me as these were just pet chickens, but what a surprise!

Anonymous said...

I raised hatchery Ameraucanas and got rose combs,single large combs and everything else.I do have some hatchery ameraucanas now that lay green eggs.I envy your blue eggs.The ameraucana in the picture looks a lot like one of mine.I think they are so pretty.Judy(slowj@copper.com)

mountain mama said...

chickens are so fun! i'd love to win this book.

hmm....i think it was the polish we had that through us for a loop...so adorable with the feathers on top.

Melody - Simple Life in Georgia said...

Chickens? what chickens? I got quickly and eagerlyy distracted by your beautiful kitties.

I simple want a nice calm breed that is a good layer.

Shelley said...

Hi Leslie,
When I got my first batch of eight chicks from the local ranch supply store three years ago, I did get two that were labeled "Araucana". But when they grew up, they had tails, which meant they were actually "Ameraucanas". But in the end it didn't matter because they both had lovely personalities and laid beautiful green and blue eggs anyway. They are a delight!

Maria Zannini said...

There are so many breeds I'd like to try. So far no surprises, but I'd be happy no matter what they turn out to be.

Lori said...

I am so excited to find your blog. I just got my chickens on Monday and I'm enjoying learning all that I can. I bought a Barred Rock hen and rooster along with chicks ~ Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds and Araucanas.

Anonymous said...

I want to get Easter Eggers and Australopes, and a bunch of other types. Too bad my city only allows four hens! But hopefully next spring they'll be mine!
steeplechaser29 at yahoo dot com

The Hungry Crafter said...

You have great pictures on your blog -- love your kitties :) I'm not sure yet what kind of chickens I'd like to get -- I need to do more research (an encyclopedia would help hee hee)...