4.30.2013 The One and Only and a photo essay on the Pecking Order

A little more than 3 weeks ago, I put 40 Dorking eggs into the incubator.  2 weeks ago, I candled those eggs and found exactly half of them weren’t fertile.  1 week ago, two hens went broody and took over incubator duties.  On Saturday, one of the eggs under the Sussex hen hatched.  One.  Only one.  Sunday.  Monday.  There were no more.

the one and only dorking

Last night, I removed the 19 quitters.  The Sussex hen needed to get up off the bad eggs and tend to the one chick.  Widgeon, the Dorking broody, needed a night of thinking about not being a mother.  This morning, she was understandably cranky, but curious too, when I picked her up and walked her out to the pasture to rejoin her mates.

not the momma and not happy about it

All fluffed up with attitude and hormones. “ Don’t mess with me.  I’m broody.  Or at least I was.  I think . . . oh, I don’t know!”

this is all your fault!

“This is all your fault.  Nice tuxedo, but you’re an empty suit.  If you had just done your job, I’d be a mother right now.  You do not impress me.”

getiing back into the pecking order

“Really?  I’ve only been gone for a week and we gotta go through all this pecking order stuff again.  You think you can take me?

cat fight

“Two on one.  That’s got to be a foul.”

Then, much to my surprise, one of the gray Easter Eggers inserts herself into the fray, and with a stern look to one of the attackers and a peck on the head to the other, the fight was over.

the arbiter steps in

order reestablishedOrder restored.

Now I have heard turkey toms described as sheriffs of the barnyard, breaking up fights by stomping on combatants until all belligerence ceases.  But, I’ve never seen chickens do it.  Learn something every day.

I also learned I didn’t plant nearly enough asparagus.  I only planted a small bed of it last year.  My husband and I are the only ones in the family who eat asparagus and I’m not that crazy about it.  I don’t mind asparagus, but I won’t go out of my way for it.

Anyway, I wasn’t going to harvest any this year because my plants are still young and getting established.  But I broke a stem while I was weeding the bed today.  Not wanting to waste it, I tasted it.  Wow!  Like fresh green peas, but with a more tender texture and more delicate taste.   Nothing at all like store bought “fresh” asparagus.  Wow!  I am going to have to plant more.  Lots more.

I shared at the backyardfarmingconnection.com

 


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