Monday, January 3, 2011

Blogging along with a Frog and 2 Dogs

Happy New Year!
Earl the Silkie who knows his name...
Blogging.  Something I used to originally think of as rather self-indulgent & annoying (much like people who are speaking on their cell phones in public bathroom stalls or clothing boutiques' changing rooms)-ICK!  However, after discovering blogs I found to be inspiring ( and/or instructive (, my initial resistance has been relaxed.  After many people requesting I put together a blog about the adventures of raising -predominantly- rare breed poultry and doing it naturally, here is the initial foray.  Though I suspect they may have been so bored about my endless yakking on about my flock and their capers, that the discreet reaction to end this topic was, "Say, why don't you write a blog?"

Why is it blogging along with a frog and 2 dogs?  Well yesterday, while out hiking with the dogs, my sweetheart and I came across a frog in mid-jump frozen on the surface of a pond.  It had leaped right out there onto the ice slick surface and now was stuck in that position, frozen in time.  I think it sums up a blog entry pretty well......  Incidentally we did try thawing it out to see if it would resuscitate, but no luck.  It sure is pretty though.

At present I have 55 chickens (17 breeds- Bantam: Lavender Ameraucana,  Araucana,  Barnevelder, Modern Game, Frizzled Polish, Seramas (some frizzled), Showgirl, Silkies; Large Fowl: Brabanters, Jaerhons, Black Copper, Blue Copper, Cuckoo, & Wheaten Marans, Partridge & Wheaten Penedesenca, Polish Tolbunt (w/frizzling), Barred Plymouth Rock, Frizzled Sumatra, Welsummer, and some Welsummer/Penedesenca + Marans/Penedesenca crosses), 20 Indian Runner Ducks (some of them crested), 14 Guinea Fowl, a pair of American Buff Geese, a pair of Mini Rex Rabbits, and 2 nutty Shar Peis.  I have raised over 65 breeds of poultry from at least a chick (if not a hatching egg) to adults.  Due to this experience, I teach classes/consult and my exposure to predators and health problems is  fairly extensive.  I have found nifty tricks to deal with a lot of these issues, but am still at a loss about those folks who just let their dogs out in rural farm country...???  
As we are in the initial days of the New Year, I thought I would share some pictures about the advent of a new life-- an egg hatching from last year.  This is a Partridge Penedesenca rooster-- Patrizio by name-  that recently was the victim of one of those irresponsible dog owners.  This is in memory of you Mr. P.  You certainly were one cute little tot.   Penedesencas are a rare breed from Catalonia that almost disappeared in the eighties and was revived by a passionate Spaniard.  The hens lay deep, dark terracotta coloured eggs that are almost cylindrical in shape.  They are famous for their carnation comb-- extra lobes on the rear of the comb that stick out a bit like airplane wings and have very elegant lines.  Yes, I admit, I am kind of a breed conservation nut.....

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