Saturday, July 01, 2006

Farm Report 07/01/06

Maria the singing chicken
Pat named her "Maria" after the opera diva Maria Callas, but I'm starting to wonder if she isn't really...

... Maria Von Trapp? The eight oldest fledglings adore her. The little ones have even started to make some trilling noises, similar to what Maria does. Is she teaching them to sing? Am I one day going to hear the chicken version of "Doe a deer" when I go into the coop? And it seems she's not content to stop with just eight. I think she is actively recruiting:

Like that song from the Sound of Music says, "What do you do with a chicken like Maria?" I guess you just let her do her thing. The Coop is Alive, with the Sound of Music.

Not all the fledglings are ready to join. Some are still quite young, and still growing their feathers in, like this scruffy group:

Some of them still want "Mommy". Fortunately for them, Turandot the Chinese Coachen-Bantam is no longer sitting on eggs. She was down to eight, but we candled them and they were all stale, so we took them away. Since then, she has been offering herself as Mommy to the smallest ones:

None of the chicks are her biological offspring. She is the only Bantam that lays brown eggs. There were only two brown eggs in the clutch, and neither hatched. Bertie had attempted to mate with her, but she is much bigger than him, and I suspect their plumbing fixtures never matched up right. But she is very maternal, and she hatched out most of the chicks, even thought they weren't her eggs.

Turandot likes looking after chicks, which is a good thing, because we have plenty more still in the incubator that will be put into the coop soon. Nights and mornings along Oregon's coast can be quite cold even in summer, so having a Mommy for the littlest ones to snuggle with is a good thing.

On the other side of the partition, the pecking order has sorted itself out:

No more Roosters terrorizing the hens! Well, there is still little Bertie the Bantam Rooster, but being only 8 inches tall, he doesn't inspire much terror. The Bantams and the Pullets seem to get along just fine, despite the size differential.

It was big Roosters like Cecil that were creating difficutlies. Cecil made his last appearence at dinner last Sunday, with gravy and roast potatoes:

He was a one tough bird when he was alive, and unfortunately, he continued to be the same on the dinner table too. He was practically inedible:

Pat said that when he was a kid, and his mother would butcher and serve an old hen or rooster, that his father would make jokes, comparing it to that Charlie Chaplin movie where he "dines" on an old shoe. Well I can see why. The skin was as tough as shoe leather. The meat, while tasty, was extremely chewy.

The French, who regard chicken as a favorite food, have special ways of dealing with mature roosters. I suspect we should have used one of their recipies, such as Coq au Vin (Rooster in Wine). We shall have to try that next time.

That wraps up the Farm Report for this week. The next Farm Report will feature the new Duck House. There will also be a special feline report, called:


The Lady is a TRAMP



Walker said...

I feel sorry for the roosters!

But anyway, I LOVE the farm report.

What are pullets exactly?

Unknown said...

Mmmm, fresh off the farm. Pass me a drumstick will ya??!!

Chas said...

A pullet is a medium-sized young chicken suitable for frying, usually less than a year old. Anything older can be rather tough.

Joubert said...

A pullet is a young hen as opposed to a cockerel.

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

07 04 06

Hey Chas! Coooooool pics. I love the way you and Pat tell stories!!! I wish you guys a happy Holiday today. I guess the rooster got the last laugh with his tough little ass! Hmmmmmhahhahahahahahhaha:)

BTW: Pat if you see this, I loved the stories on the lillies. They look like succulant blooms. My Peter cactus has just began to bloom. Will post soon:) Take care guys:)

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

07 04 06

Chas: After looking at the recipe for rooster in wine, I just had to say DAMNNNN that smells good in my minds eye! I JUST got finished preparing the fixings for today's meal, which includes veggie skewers, Bacon Wrapped Anaheim Stuffed Chilis, Chicken wings and legs that are marinating in a spicy Cajun rub/sauce etc. I am up waayyyy too late for my own good, but just HAD to say something about the recipe! Thanks for providing it. I will try it at some point cuz it looks GREATTTTTTT!