Monday, April 26, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This doesn't look good:

It LOOKS like these chickens were forced to dig their own graves.

But these hens are in seventh heaven, not regular heaven. They are reveling in the chance to dig giant craters, fling dust all around, and crush dirt into their molty feathers--that is, to take dust baths. They have excavated numerous bathtubs in what is supposed to be my garden, and the hardworking roosters are more than happy to keep an eye on them.

"Those other hens can probably look out for themselves. I'd better station myself right here, where I can keep a close eye on the bathing beauties. Awwww yeah."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What to do with Eggs: Taste the Happy

If there is a downside to a muffin, it is the literal downside--the underside--the muffin stump. Muffin tops are gloriously delicious; muffin stumps are merely acceptable.

Enter the muffin top baking cups, sent to me by my brother Sam and his girlfriend Leslie. A thousand blessings upon their names: these cups allow you to bake only the delectable muffiny saucers.

Here is this morning's crop of muffin tops, made with fresh strawberries. These babies are 100%, insanely delicious. They are like happy on a plate. They kick the stumps of regular muffins.

Total eggs used: 1 whole egg, 1 yolk = 1.5 eggs.

Mmmmm. Taste the happy!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Some are hens' teeth...some are MY teeth

Last weekend I was snuggling Uh-Oh Chicken, and the yellowish Ameraucana hen flew up to my shoulder. (Her name, once a seven-syllable clunker of a label, has now been shortened to 'Buddy.')

So Buddy flew up and perched on my shoulder, where she became very interested in the shiny and tasty-looking things in my mouth.

…That is, my teeth.

I had not realized this, but my teeth are apparently reminiscent of corn. The more Buddy sat right by my face trying to look into my mouth and peck my teeth, the funnier it was--which exposed ever more teeth for her. Amy, instead of helping me, took these glamorous photos. They remind me of Buster Bluth from Arrested Development, during his "unfortunate encounter in a photobooth".

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Comes the time, comes the word.

The word is "pwned," or "pwnd." According to Urban Dictionary, it "basically be dominated by an opponent or situation, especially by some god-like or computer-like force." It is a voguish, Internet-based word, and lacks vowels to an unpronounceable extent. All of which council against its usage in general writing.

But comes the time, comes the word. I could write that, yesterday, Molson was bested by an opponent or situation beyond his comprehension. But the most elegant way to express yesterday's events? Molson got PWNED.

Molson loves to do his egg eating trick--you know, the one where he eats an egg. He'd do it all day long if we let him. So we are careful never to leave him alone in a room with eggs.

He, in turn, waits patiently to be left alone in a room with eggs. He knows it's going to happen sooner or later. And he's picky about his opportunities--he doesn't risk egg theft when we might hear him standing up on the counter, or if we might come back before he is through. But yesterday morning, when Amy got in the shower, Molson knew his time had come.

There was an egg in a plastic produce bag on the counter. Molson took down the bag, and carefully removed the egg without damaging the bag. Then he went to bask in front of the wood stove with his ill-gotten treasure. Which is where Amy found him, sulky and confused, twenty minutes later. He had been working hard on this:

PS: Come to think of it, that wooden egg fooled three completely different species yesterday. The chickens were fooled by it and laid eggs around it; the human egg collector was fooled by it and collected it with the real eggs, and then Molson was fooled so hard he was epically pwned. Of all domestic species, only the cat escaped being tricked by that egg... or, if it did fool him, he'll never tell.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wait, is a rooster a chicken?

Today on How Do Chickens Work: one of the most commonly-asked chicken questions, according to Amy.

I was puzzled when Amy reported that people asked her this question, and averred that I had never heard it, not even once. The next day, I was asked it, too.

Q: Can you eat roosters?

A: ...Yes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Where do chickens come from?

Today on How Do Chickens Work: Where do chickens come from?

Don't worry, this isn't The Talk. (You know, the one about the birds and the... birds.) No, this just tells you two specific locations from which baby chickens can be obtained:

(1) The Post Office. These chickens are boxed up and mailed out from a hatchery the day they are born. They travel along in a Post Office truck, and the next morning, you wait anxiously for the Post Office's 5:30 a.m. notification that your chicks have arrived. When they call, you jam on your shoes and drive happily to the Post Office, bringing your towel like you learned from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy*.

You go behind the scenes at the pre-dawn Post Office, to an area filled with intriguing stacks of boxes and obscure machines and a desk with somebody's coffee and donut crumbs on a napkin. Your box of chickens is peeping audibly. You wrap the box up in your towel, so cold air doesn't get in the vent holes between P.O. and car, and you drive your chickens home.Inside the box, cuteness reaches dangerous levels as the fluffy chicks snuggle each other for warmth.

(2) From beneath a hen. When a hen sits crankily on her nest all day and bites you when you disturb her, she is broody. Broody hens lose all the feathers on their breasts and stomachs, so their warm and kind of sweaty-feeling skin is in direct contact with the eggs. It's like a sauna under there, or an armpit. The broody hen does not know whether the eggs she's sitting on are fertilized or not, and she doesn't care. She just feels driven to assemble a clutch of round things, and be left alone to sit on them. Just about the time she's sick of sitting on round things, if she's lucky, tiny little visitors appear beneath her. And she happily moves on to Mother Hen Mode.

Craziest part of that scenario? The Mother Hen Mothership. It's awesome!

* if you are a nerd