Sunday, March 02, 2008

Certain Signs of Spring

Digging out from another snowstorm on Friday into Saturday. Lovely snow but it is all piling up and getting downright deep. We haven't seen any deer in the orchard for the past couple weeks. The Farmer thinks the snowpack is too deep for them to move around much.

Although spring is elusive at the moment, I know it is on the way. The days are getting longer and the sun feels warmer late in the morning.
The other trustworthy clue that spring will eventually get here on this hill is that my chickens are laying again. I am getting 3 to 6 eggs a day. It is really so much fun to crack open an egg still warm from the coop and cook or bake with it.

Last year I ordered a breed of chickens called Cuckoo Marans, aka "chocolate eggers". I could only purchase them “straight run” which means there is a mix of hen and rooster chicks. Of the 12 that grew out, I only ended up with 5 hens. A bit disappointing since I really only need one or two roosters to wake us up in the morning.

Cuckoo Marans were developed in Maran, France and they are rather large birds. That's my group on the roost above. The roosters look very similar to Barred Rocks but with longer tail feathers. The hens are a bit darker grey with just a bit of mottling in their feathers. I have been anticipating the eggs from these hens – wondering how dark they would be and if they would live up to all the fanfare.

Here is the egg selection from my hens production last week.


The blue eggs are from the Aracaunas. These birds are really nice – gentle and extremely prolific. The white and off-white eggs are from the Polish “top hat” chickens and white Silkie Bantams shown in the photo below. The typical brown eggs are from my Buff Orpingtons. And those beautiful dark brown eggs are from the Cuckoo Maran hens. It is such a pretty selection.

I couldn't resist placing some balls of Julia amongst the lovely natural colored eggs. Now I have just got to find some time to make a swatch from this inspiration.

13 comments:

Pamie G. said...

Although I long for a small farm with beautiful hens and chicks, I will never have it but I shall forever live thru your blog. Thank you so much for making me smile once again and close my ideas and pretend that I have hens and chicks too....God Bless! Pamie G.

Pamie G. said...

"close my eyes...not ideas...ggg I need to take a nap!!!

Karen L. said...

Kristen, I have been reading your blog for a while now without commenting but after seeing these eggs, I just had to write. Looks like you don't have to do any dying of eggs for Easter. Yours are already done! Love the yarns too. Daughter Julia is such a cutie also. Thanks to your suggestion a while back, I am now reading the Bedlam Farm blog and am enjoying it immensely. I don't knit very well but I do crochet so I am enjoying all of your yarn talk and also all of the farm talk. Thanks for taking the time to do that.

Diane H K in Greenfield! said...

Hey there. The egg photos are lovely!

I like your chicken fencing set-up. Looks good and secure. Chicken wire with cattle panels for stability, yes? And the board on the bottom is a good idea. We have lots of weasels/coyotes/etc. over our place and I've been contemplating how to best fence in our future chicken flock.

I went snow-shoeing yesterday on the land adjoining our farm and found NO deer tracks which boggles the mind. The parcel is normally crawling with deer. Poor things must be huddled under the hemlock groves on my neighbor's land up the hill.

The Chatty Housewife- said...

I LOVE the egg photo!!!

lisa w said...

Love that last photo - such pretty, earthy colours.

Misplaced Country Girl said...

Those eggs are beautiful. I wonder if my city neighbors would mind if I set up a chicken coop in the backyard? I could bribe them with beautiful eggs! I love this blog. Like Pamie G. I long to live in the country and live my dream through your blog! Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

ellen said...

Truly beautiful colors...both eggs and yarn.
I haven't had any chickens in years, but you may be the inspiration that gets me going again.
Thanks!

Lisa said...

The eggs are beautiful! Stupid question from a city girl: do the eggs from the different breeds taste differently?

Mia said...

I was talking about fresh eggs with some one recently and they were shocked to hear that eggs come in any colors besides white and brown. I might not be able to have any chickens since I live in town but I know where I can get free range eggs in natural colors. Nothing like a really fresh egg/

Kate G. said...

Whoa! Those are chickens? I thought I was looking at a crowd shot from Paris Fashion Week. Inspiring use of feather in a full coat! Just add stillettos.

Nik said...

Wow. Talk about finding inspiration in nature! Those colors are beautiful together.

KSee said...

I have never seen eggs in all those colors. How beautiful.