Hello friends. I wanted to take a moment to share the past few months with you. Life has thrown us an unexpected curve. We lost my Dad of 28 years unexpectedly this summer after dealing with some things since spring. It threw us all into a tail spin and all of us went into survival mode. It was a loss that rippled across all of our lives and the most difficult of all was watching my children have to suffer as they did. Their hearts were broken and mine broke even more than I though possible watching my own children learn how to grieve and rebound from loss.
I knew about these eggs with double yolks. I had seen plenty of chicken keepers sharing double yolk eggs with their audiences. It has been seven years since starting out keeping chickens and we still were waiting for one. Then this past week, one of the chickens laid a huge egg. It was about the size of two eggs and took up my entire hand. I thought surely, this must be a double yolk egg. At first, I didn’t want to crack it open. I let it sit on the counter with its sister eggs, so that I could admire it when I was in the kitchen. It was so large and pretty and I know that the chicken that laid it must have had quite to the effort to pass it. Then last night, the kids wanted eggs for dinner. It was time.
I love buffalo anything! Being part Italian, I also love a mean stuffed pepper. As game day approaches, I thought a fun and clever food would be to stuff some peppers up buffalo style. They are easy and super pleasing and of course, peppers help to make this dish healthy. This dish preps up in no time and is a great way to recycle leftovers too. These buffalo stuffed peppers are a family pleaser. The leftovers also re-heat wonderfully. That is if there are any! For an extra kick, try topping the peppers with blue cheese instead of mozzarella and bake as usual. Here’s how they came together:
She’s been this way for a few weeks now. At first, I thought she was just enjoying lingering in the nesting boxes perched upon the bounty of beautiful colorful orbs each day. Yet soon enough it was clear. She had morphed into a dinosaur-like shrieking pancake that simply did not want me lifting her off the nesting box. She was definitely broody. So each day it has gone on, I pry her from the box, give her a good scratch, a wing rub and send her on her way to poo, eat and drink. However, what happened the other day left me speechless.
Last month, I noticed that Oyster Cracker was not herself. She seemed to be under the weather and not herself. She was almost 6 years old and has had bad days since Sunshine passed almost 6 months ago. The first clue that something was wrong was that she did not roost with the others in her usual spot. She tried to sleep in the nesting box. The next night she ended up on the lower roost where no one sleeps. She was just off. By the next morning, I decided that I needed to do some detective work. So, I set out to figure out just what was wrong. As a chicken keeper, there are lots of things that you can do to help determine what might be wrong with your chicken. I also realized that writing a post on how to examine a chicken might be useful for others.
I knew that the day would eventually come.
I buried her underneath a beautiful hosta that still has not emerged from its winter slumber yet.
A few weeks ago, I said goodbye to my last original chicken, Oyster Cracker. It was one of the most difficult things that I had ever done. I guess it is why it took so long for me to write this post.
A few years ago, I think I shocked, surprised and even led some people to deem me a bit of a crazy chicken lady, when I decided to share that I could indeed understand and speak “chicken”. When I first wrote about it in 2011, it caused quite a bit of interest. NPR came to visit and even recorded me speaking to my flock. Over the years, I have gone on to continue sharing my non-scientific findings from an uncontrolled environment on my blog and in my first book. I dedicated pages to the art of speaking chicken in an effort to teach kids that listening is just as important as speaking. I also offered translations into what might be their first attempts at understanding “chicken”. I have discovered how chickens say goodnight, interpreted sounds from the brooder, discovered greetings, warning calls and rooster vocalizations. I guess you could say that since 2010 I have been listening, but apparently not closely enough. A few weeks ago, before I left to Washington, D.C., I realized that my flock has given me a chicken name.
If you think about it, chickens lay hundreds of eggs during their lifetime. Many times their eggs arrive just on schedule just as predicted; gorgeous warm orbs of goodness. Hens are amazing! Although rare, sometimes reproductive system and egg laying issues arise that leaves chicken keepers scratching their heads. We’ve all had weird eggs. The perfect place is to start is inside the chicken and what leads up to the laying of an egg.
This past weekend, I turned another year older and got to enjoy the most delicious ice cream cake from Four Seas Ice Cream. They are a family favorite and historic ice cream shop around the corner from our home. It was filled with coconut and vanilla ice cream with a chocolate fudge center. Her are a few more chicken birthday cakes from over the years.