Sunday, June 15, 2008

Chicken Quiz

Help! I don't know what these are!
This is my free rare rooster from McMurray Hatchery. I thought he was a Golden Penciled Hamburg, but now I think he may be an Aracauna or a Buttercup. What do you think? He is a good crower and is the dominant rooster for now. I think one of the Cuckoo Maran roosters is going to take over. I'm open for names for these two chickens! Maybe I'll send you a prize.

Aracauna too?
I thought she was a Splash Andalusian, but now I think she is an Araucana. I'm definitely OK with that as she'll lay the pretty green or blue eggs. Her name is Daryl, (named for the movie Splash, but now she may need a name change!)

Wild Bees are down, but not out!

We had a powerful wind last week that tore our bee tree in half, exposing the poor hive to the elements. I don't know what I'm going to do yet, I sent an email to Professor Huang at Michigan State University who deals with bees to see if he has any ideas. Do you have any ideas? I should be like The Unusually Unusual Farmchick and try to capture the bees and start making my own mead.


I need to sharpen my chain saw for this!


There's probably a lot of honey in there! Don't you want to just reach in there and scoop some of that honeycomb out?! Me neither!! (Well, I sort of do...)

With the plight of honeybees right now, I feel like this hive can teach us something. They have survived for at least five years, all by themselves. No help from farmer Don! Maybe Professor Huang will be able to give me some ideas before something gets into the cavity and cleans house, I mean hive!


Anonymous said...

Neat! I have to tell you that I burn, I roast, I chew my nails with envy when I see your barn. Sigh. It's beautiful. I wish we had it.

The chicken looks very much like an Aracauna. If she lays colorful eggs then you'll know. We have several. I love their beards. They make menopause seem less daunting. After all, if they can make a beard look good -- so can I!

Kidding, of course.


Don said...

Lacy: Thank you for your kind words about my green barn. It was built in 1901 and has stood up pretty well. I need to give it some TLC here and there. This summer I'm going to try to totally enclose it so racoons and possums can't get in. That will take some stone work and lots of lumber and nails. But, that's stuff I can do. I like how I can work on the barn and it doesn't have to look good enough to be in the living room!

Are you referring to the rooster? or the tan hen? You did say she, so I'm assuming you meant the second photo. What about the roo?

BTW, I used to live in Lacy, (Lacey) MI and it is where my best childhood memories are!

Amy said...

I think your rare chook is a Buttercup because of that comb style and leg color. He's crowing already??? My guys haven't even tried yet, as far as I know. Daryl has very large eyes and dark legs--is that an Adalusion characteristic? I think she's an Araucana. My girls started clucking instead of peeping last week. They are getting so big! I think the Australorps will likely be laying by the end of July.

You are so lucky to have all those wonderful pollinators living near you. I've only seen a few honeybees which worries me because the family orchard crops might take a big hit this year. I don't know where the bees are but they certainly aren't in NW Ohio!

Stiggy said...

Hey Don - just had a fantastic idea!

Call your new rooster...


Only joking there fella - but he is a very handsome chap!

Are you seriously thinking about relocating the swarm?

Eeeeek - bees aren't my favourite flying thing - they'd freak me out too much I think.

Still, I love todays blog - i shall read it again a few times - and well done to Ruth for the photos, excellent work there too!


Ruth said...

Oh, thanks, Stiggy! :D

Don, I'm so happy you emailed Dr. Huang! That's very cool, and I hope he will take interest in our poor almost homeless bees. I wonder if he works in the summer . . .

Mrs. M. said...

OMG--Uncle Don doesn't know?!! :)

Uhhh--rotiserie or roasting?

Anonymous said...

Looks like an Ameracauna but not for sure. Definitely beautiful though!

I also enjoy viewing your green barn. I could live in it!

Don said...

Amy: I think you're right about the rooster being a Buttercup. I am 97.2% sure that the two Daryls are Araucanas too. I'll know when I see their eggs!

When were your chickens hatched? Mine were hatched approximately April 5, making them 10 weeks old. The buttercup rooster crowed at 8 weeks and then a Cuckoo Maran and a Crevecouer crowed a week later.

The bees are probably going to move all by themselves. At least I hope they dp!

Don said...

Stiggy: I am honored to introduce our newly named rooster: Stiggy. Ruth and I both agree that he is a Stiggy; squawky, energetic, nice to have around, and of course, devilishly handsome! Thanks for naming him. Now, if I can just get an earring on him...

Don said...

Ruth: I was thinking about Dr. Huang today and suddenly realized that I had his daughter in my class about 7 years ago! he even came in and brought bees and wasps with him to show the differences between them. I hope he responds!

Mrs. M I won't roast Stiggy, however, I do have 25 broilers that are about 6 days away from meeting Grandpa Mowry, (my dad). He wanted me to raise some and he wanted to come and butcher them out! They are getting huge! From hatching to butcher day is about 7 weeks and they will weigh round 5- pounds each. I'll bring some to the Fourth celebration.

Don said...

Carole: I think you're right about the Araucana. I don't think you'd want to live in the green barn, unless you like dodging bat guano!

André Lemay said...

Hi Don, very nice chicken you have and nice photos. Ruth told me to visit your blog since I had some chicken photos on mine. I am no expert since I don't have any, they are my sister and she has many breeds. I will write to her and ask her if she knows what yours are.

sandy said...

Well I sure don't know what kind they are but I do know they're darn cute.

Stiggy said...



Thanks Don and Ruth!!!!!!!

I feel very honoured - do I get a plaque or anything? ;)

Awwwww I'm so pleased - I've been running round the house being very happy this morning because of it!


Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Don, I used to raise bees a long time ago and they don't go anywhere without their Queen... Hope she wasn't harmed in the crash... They may have to raise another before they go.

Ginnie said...

Do let us know if/what Prof. Huang says, Don. I was immediately concerned about the bees when I heard about your tree! :(

Don said...

Andre: Thanks for visiting. You have some very nice photos of your sister's chickens! I am interested to hear what she has to say.


Sandy:They are so fun to watch! I left them out in their electrified run all day today. I could tell they had been busy when I got home. They had created three or four dust baths and some were very busy having a glorious dust bath!

Stiggy: I agree that there must be some sort of prize. I'll think about that and let you know. Maybe something from my barn to your coop? I'll scrounge around for an appropriate reward.


Gwen: Yes, you're absolutely right about the queen. My father had about twenty hives a few years back and I got to watch him have fun with that. I wonder what the queen's plan is? (If she survived the fall). Did you make mead?


Ginnie: I need to get an update on your knee surgery! If I hear from the Prof, I'll blog about it!

laura said...

Hi Don, Your "free rare" rooster is so handsome! I hope you are able to save your hive--more casualties of this outrageous weather. Re quail eggs: My brother tells me he fries them and serves them atop scallops; I'm thinking they'd make good mini Scotch eggs: hard boiled, wrapped in bulk sausage, breaded and fried.

Don said...

Laura: Iloved having a bee tree, but I think they are getting ready to move out.

Both of the egg suggestions sound delicious! I think I will try them both. I may even have some Scotch with the scotch eggs.

Bob Johnson said...

Geez too bad about the little bee guys, it is cool you emailed Professor Huang, be interesting to see what he has to say.

The Unusual Farmchick said...

Hi Don, Looks like you may need to find some bee hives. Have you contacted a local bee keeper besides the Professor? They may be able to help catch the bees and place them into hives so you still have them around.
The above has listings for keepers who do removals- maybe contact one close and explain you want to keep them there on the Farm but they are at risk due to the tree situation. They may even be willing to bring their own hives in trade of teaching you how to tend them and a share of the honey. That is where I found my Bee man. Just a thought...

Stiggy said...

Hey Don - I hope I didn't come across as rude there fella - I certainly wasn't hankerin after anything!

I am just so pleased, honoured and happy that someone has named their rooster Stiggy - it's not every day I have something to crow about!


Don said...

Bob: I'm afraid he may be out of town for the summer, as professors are wont to do! If I hear from him, I'll let you know. Thanks for asking.

Unusual: Thanks for the link. I went and looked around a bit and I may call one who is closest to me. I looked at the tree today and saw almost no activity. I even banged on the tree a few times with a shovel and only a few bees floated out, not looking very aggressive. I'm afraid they have either moved out or they are all dying. I think the moved out option is more likely.

Don said...

Oh Stiggy! Puhleeze! I think you're the bomb! So don't hesitate to say anything. I found an old, used horseshoe that I may ship off to your coop. What do you think?

Stiggy said...

OOOh that would be very cool!

OOh - you know my workshop? Well I'm now building another shed which will be my garage for all my vehicles...

...I have my beloved ride on lawnmower/tractor, trailer, CB750 chop, and a yamaha 600 with squire sidecar to fit in it - plus a 'spare' powerchair of Zaks to alter and play around with.

Sometimes I wish there was more than one of me so I had enough time for all my ideas and plans!


Shannon said...

I won't be able to help identify the chickens, but when I looked at them Ithe name Sargeant Buckles came to mind for the first guy. He looked like he had that kind of walk... The second looked really sweet- like Honey.
Which ties in to your bee conumdrum. Glad the tree didn't fall on anything! I hope the bees move safely to a new home. We need all the bees we can get!

Country Girl said...

We have a chicken called Maple???
I like that! Ruth takes some nice pictures! ~Kim

Gwen Buchanan said...

Don I should have made mead cause we had a few bottles start to ferment.. but I was nervous of tasting it in case of botulism...

The Scavenger said...

Hello Don, I just had to say how much I love your barn. Don't see many green ones but I love it. The picture you have of the barn is, well, picture perfect. Really enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.


Don said...

Stiggy: Your blog may need a new subtitle: "A man and his buildings." I have lots of buildings, so I shouldn't talk!


Shannon: Sargeant Buckle? That's a great name. I'm going to put that one into the name file.

The bees have bailed out!


Kim: Maple? That's the type of tree that fell across my driveway. I like the name tho. You all are very busy at your farm. Your gardens look very nice.


Gwen: I too get a little nervous thinking about making home brews. I have thought about making beer, but I don't drink very much beer. Maybe I could make it and have beer/bonfire bashes.


Chris: Thanks for stopping by! I was sruck by the color of the barn when we first saw this farm and it captured me! Now I have to get the roof to stop leaking!

Anonymous said...

Just now saw that you'd asked me a chicks hatched April 13. Some are fairly hefty while others are bantam sized. The Australorps are the largest which makes sense because they are also the fastest developing out of the herd. The Barred Rocks are taking their sweet time but will supposedly finish out among the largest. Hard to imagine my little Betty being 8 lb!

De Peaslee said...

Hi! I found your site through another that I check once in a while, henboggle. Real nice and a beautiful barn pic.
When I read about your chickens the first name I thought of was 'Izzy', as in is'e an Aracauna or a Buttercup?
I live in a city on the east coast and have the first two of six pullets that I'm allowed,by permit, to have. They are four weeks old. One is a Red Star named Twinkle, the other is a Buff Orpington named Isabel (formerly known as Pip).
If I could, I would be thinking about capturing that hive,too. It would be cool to help the bees and be able to gather a little of your own wild honey. Good luck.

Don said...

Amy: I had barred rocks before and they were nice, sturdy layers. If you haven't had them befoe, you will love them. Some of my hens are very small compared to my Cuckoo Marans. The hamburgs are quite petite.

Lunch Lady:Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. Your two pullets are two of my favorites, (if that matters!!). I love how people from all walks of life are getting closer to our life source! Bravo to you for doing the city chickens. Are you going to keep us updated on your progress? I like the concept for Izzy

De Peaslee said...

Hi,don. My real name is dawn, also (if that matters:). Sure, I can give short, little updates on my girls. At least I'll try to keep them short. We are still working on finishing our little
'barn' & the run isn't up yet. I was too excited to wait any longer than I had already. Talk about putting the chicken before the coop. But I had the girls out today in the yard in a makeshift pen for a couple of hours. Twinkle scratched up a slug and quickly gobbled it down.Can chickens gobble? Two days ago they wanted nothing to do with them.
I've already picked a name for one that I haven't even got yet. The name is Tilly for a white creasted polish.Rhymes with silly and reminds me of Phillis Diller. Is this 'short'?

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