A Chicken Named Dog

Adventures with a Flock Family

Month: April 2013

Chickens like the Spring as well

One wouldn’t know it, but Spring has actually sprung, even with the snow flurries in the air.  With the ground thawing, we have actually been able to till the garden.

A bit about our garden.  We do things on a scale…one which is a rather large scale.  We share the garden with my father-in-law, whose idea of a small garden is one that is about an acre.  So, when we till, it is an all-day event.

The girls in warmer times.

The girls in warmer times.

We were able to till this last weekend, and with that came moving the coops around, stringing a row (approximately 150 feet long) and putting some pea seeds in.  As the dirt was being foot-shoveled over the pea seeds, I noticed that the hens were watching.  I didn’t know that hens would pay attention, but there they were…looking at our rows.

Yesterday, Rebecca said that as soon as the purple coop was released to roam for a bit, they went right to the pea row.

So, beware.  Sneak your planting in unless you have enough to share.  🙂

Egg-celent Cel-egg-bration for Easter

When one has a brood of hens working hard to provide organic wonders, that person has no need to color “white” eggs.  In fact, as we found out, the variation of color in our hen’s eggs allowed for a deeper and richer end egg product this last Easter.

A collection of our hen's hard work.


A collection of our hen’s hard work.

You may first notice that our hens lay a variety of colors (light brown, dark red, blue and green).  With these as a set of base colors, any additional color deepens in color, providing a richer color.

We tried to use natural coloring this year.  We cooked a beat, brewed some coffee and boiled an artichoke.  The coffee made a weak tan, the beat made an oily mess on the egg and the artichoke’s green, although nicely hued, didn’t take.

A blue egg with some additional blue hue.

A blue egg with some additional blue hue.

So, we went old-school.  Using the traditional vinegar-based egg coloring, with the handy little metal wire holders, plastic cups and wax crayons, we began to deepen the naturally occurring colors.

A blue egg turning green, with a "franken-egg" thrown in for contrast.

A blue egg turning green, with a “franken-egg” thrown in for contrast.

The blue, as you can see in the image, turned out a deep and dark royal blue.  Far from messing up the colors, the natural egg color enhanced the dye in a strong and engaging way.

Since we colored our eggs at the grandparents’ house, we had to accommodate Grandma’s fear that we wouldn’t have enough eggs to go around, what with Aunts and Cousins coloring.  So, the white eggs, bought from the local grocery chain, served as a good contrast to the power of our colored-eggs coloration.

Once we had the base colors, sparkles, wax accents and all of the other coloring fun could be added.  The results are seen below.  But I had to move quickly because not only are the final eggs visually impacting, they were delicious as well.

A basket full of colored goodness.

A basket full of colored goodness.

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