Larry and Kathy, my neighbors to the west of us who raised New Hampshire Reds before retiring to West Linn, came over to give my birds a look see....they can't tell the sex from looking at them, either. So they gave an old friend a call on my behalf; this old friend used to judge chickens at the fair. What did she say about crowing pullets?
"Hens never crow," was the reported response.
I know that some of you are interested to see me do the homesteading thing and slaughter these guys for lunch but I have a sticky problem with that.
The problem is simply that they are still way too small to get a meal out of but way too noisy to keep in my sleepy little burg. I call it my sleepy little burg because it's really a bedroom community, and a little more chi chi than I had bargained for. Actually, had I known ahead of time that it's as chi chi as it is, or at least pretending to be, I probably wouldn't have settled here. But anyway, the important thing to know is, I can't raise the boys to proper slaughter weight here because they are too noisy for the neighborhood.
So I needed to get rid of them as quickly as I could. Fortunately, my friend Rae was able to take them, so this afternoon Steve and I had a pleasant ride down several country roads, and now the boys can make all the noise they want to on Rae's forty acres. We watched them for a little while; the pecking order was quickly re-established, although all three of my birds didn't allow themselves to be bullied too far; a couple of combs got bloodied, but there was no out and out mayhem. Now they have much more room in which to roam, and now there are others of their ilk, should they get bored with each other's company. Rae's Buff Orpingtons are mighty pretty girls, and were I not so gun shy, I'd try again, but I'm determined that the next batch of pullets are going to be pullets (darn it!) and the only way to guarantee that is black or red sex links, so that's what's on the docket.
It was a lovely, sunny day on which to drive down to drop off the birds, and we stopped at a farm stand on the way back home. I already had a carrot salad made from the carrots I harvested this morning, and a leftover pasta salad from last night, so we bought a couple ears of corn and some green tomatoes so that I could fry up some green tomatoes, which I love. We had them with a tarragon-bacon ranch dressing and they were as awesome as I needed them to be.
This weekend was spent harvesting what I could out of the garden and prepping beds for a fall and winter garden. I read in this month's MEN that the way to get stuff to germinate in the hot summer weather is to shade the beds so that they're cooler. I was thinking I might put the stuff that I'll start in six packs, like cabbages, lettuce and kale, under the asparagus, because it's nice and shady under there. I'll have to rig something up for the root vegetables. This weekend I got some weird little cabbages, which are worthy of a separate post, some carrots, and I took out all the peas, which were done. The peas I picked will go for seed or soup. I also got a second batch of French batavian crisp head lettuces off the roots I left in that bed, and a big bunch of shallots harvested; the shallots are cooling their jets, or rather, I should say drying their jets in the garage. The garlic is very close to being ready, but I didn't want to pick it this weekend.
The next post will be about our new metal roof, which should be done in a couple of days.
But tomorrow morning I get to sleep in a whole fifteen minutes later, since I don't have chicken chores.
We'll remedy that as soon as possible.