Farm Fresh Easter Eggs

Just in time for Easter, our little Miss Cleo has decided to lay us some colored eggs! We were so excited, partly because she laid an egg, and partly because we weren't really sure she was actually going to lay eggs. We had white ones from Babs and Betty (our Leghorns), and brown eggs from Matilda (our Wyandott), but no green/blue eggs from Miss Cleo.

Rewind a few months...

Back when the girls were little fuzz balls, we started to see that they had their own personalities. As they got bigger and moved into their coop, it was clear which of the chickens had emerged as the leader of the pack. It was definitely Miss Cleo. She flapped and pecked at the other chicks letting them know who was boss.

And then the chicks started to lay eggs.

At first, we only saw white ones, which surprised us considering the Leghorns seemed to be too ditzy to know which end the egg should come out, but there you go. Then we saw some brown eggs from the Wyandott. Every morning, we kept expecting to go in and find some green/blue eggs in their bed of hay... but nothing.

Miss Cleo seemed to be depressed about this, too. Her little chicken head was hanging a little lower and Matilda started to challenge her more. We all felt bad for Miss Cleo, so we gave her some extra love, carrying her around and petting her. She eventually came out of her slump and began hen-pecking the rest of the chickens as she had before. But still, no eggs.

One day, on the Twitterz, I was chatting with a friend about the lack of laying from Miss Cleo. He mentioned that he had heard some chickens will take on the role of the rooster if there isn't one in the coop.

Miss Cleo thought she was a rooster!

That was sort of funny, except that the whole reason I got the Ameraucans was that I wanted those colored "Easter" eggs. And since the only other Ameraucan I got had sadly passed in the heat wave last fall, Miss Cleo was my only chance of getting any colored eggs.

Then, at dinner a couple of weeks ago, I remembered that my son had a stuffed animal that was a rooster. It even crowed! I must have had one too many beers because I started laughing to myself and suggested that maybe we could trick Miss Cleo into thinking the stuffed rooster was real. We all laughed about it, picturing an egg dropping out of Miss Cleo at the sight of him.

The next morning, my son introduced Rocky the Rooster to the girls.

Rocky the Rooster.jpg

The response was HILARIOUS! Miss Cleo went absolutely nuts. BAT. SHIT. CRAZY! She started bok-boking and flying all around the coop. It was as if a fox had snuck into the hen house. She was flying around in circles so fast, we thought she might pass out from being dizzy. After a few spins around the hen house, she bolted out the door like a bat out of hell! It was quite a sight watching her run all over the yard, freaking out, flapping her wings. We could not stop laughing!

We left Rocky in the coop for about a week, just to see what would happen.

About a week ago, my son, The Chicken Whisperer found a reddish brown feather. It was unmistakably Cleo's. She was molting. "She's getting ready!!!" My son's eyes were bright with delight. I was still doubtful... and bitter that we weren't going to have any Easter eggs for Easter.

Four mornings ago, I was proven wrong.

Easter Egg.jpg

Congratulations, Miss Cleo!

Give the Gift of Chickens!

I wrote recently how I had mixed feelings about Giving Tuesday. How I was sad that we actually had to be reminded to give and how we only remember to give to others in times of crisis. After a trip to the mall the other day, I felt even worse. Nobody seemed to be having any fun. If anything, the look on everyone's faces reflected how crappy I was feeling inside. We left without buying anything, not because we were overwhelmed by the shopping frenzy, but because the one thing we wanted (something for the whole family to enjoy together), was not at the store we went to. We could have gone to another store, but Mr. Jones begged me to go alone and I haven't been brave enough to go back by myself.

Today, I saw a great post on 10 Holiday Gifts that Give Back from my fellow San Diego blogger, Morgan Quinn. (Morgan was also the person I got great advice from when I was looking to get our backyard chickens. Thanks, Morgan!!)

[caption id="attachment_1672" align="aligncenter" width="560"] My Girls[/caption] On her post, she lists gifts that honor the spirit of this time of year. The items either go directly to people in need or a portion of the sale goes towards a worthy organization. My favorite one was World Vision. For only $25, you can give a family in another part of the world two chickens. Aside from providing hours of entertainment (trust me), those two chickens can help provide a family with a protein rich food source. And if they also receive a few more chickens donated from other awesome people around the world, they could actually make a little bit of money on the eggs that are produced. What would they do with that money?

Watch this video to find out what this family did:

For us, it's a few coffees with friends or maybe some impulse buys at the checkout stand. For a family in a village that we may never be able to locate on a map, it's a chance to change their world.

So, give Chickens this Christmas! That's what we're doing. :)