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Chicken shopping!

We went chicken shopping today at a farm up the road. My goodness, those people had a lot of chickens!

My initial thought was Rhode Island Reds or Sussex Reds, because I used to live in Rhode Island and now I live in Sussex and I like red chickens. That’s the kind of penetrating analytical mind I’ve got.

But I was very taken with the Buff Orpingtons, a fluffy tan chicken that grows to the approximate size of a junior high school gymnasium. Uncle B took one look and his lip trembled. I think he was imagining tumbleweeds lazily drifting across the ruined dust of his vegetable patch.

So Pekin Bantams it is! These are cute little fuckers — about a quarter the size of an actual chicken — that lay teeny, tiny eggs. They look like feathery tea cozies (a tea cozy, for my Yankee brethren and cistern, is a nice warm sweater for your teapot. And yes, it really does keep the tea hot considerably longer).

Their signal characteristic: they are terrifyingly friendly. Lap chickens. The ones in the pen came flying over to see us and nibbled hopefully at my fingers, making happy chicken noises.

We didn’t bring any home with us. We’re going to get our act together and go back next week, if we can’t think of any reason why we shouldn’t.

And in six months, I’m ‘onna make you the smallest omelette you ever did see.


Comment from Glenster
Time: May 13, 2010, 11:06 pm

I’m gonna change my name to “Buff Orpington”… who wouldn’t want such a cool name??!!

Comment from Spad13
Time: May 13, 2010, 11:07 pm

Have you ever seen Frizzly chickens? Think Phylis Diller as a chicken, and the shells of thier eggs are a very pale almost blue. My Uncle has them and they are hilarious running around the door yard.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 13, 2010, 11:17 pm

It’s a chicken, Glenster. And people know it.

We looked seriously at Silkies, Spad. More fur than feather.

You can tell we’re being real serious about this chicken thing.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: May 13, 2010, 11:23 pm

I thought you were off the chicken kick due to the little chicken eatin critters that frequent the yard…sorry, Garden.

Man, I need to get some gift giving advice from Uncle B. A silver bangle and a couple chickens for the wife’s birthday?? Any man that can get away with THAT is a friggin GENIUS.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: May 13, 2010, 11:24 pm

Oh, and Happy Birthday.

Comment from JeffS
Time: May 13, 2010, 11:38 pm

An omelet? No deviled eggs?


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 13, 2010, 11:38 pm

Eh. I got other loot. I just ain’t bragging.

I’ve gone back and forth on the chicken question. LOTS of predators. And with bantams, I have to worry about cats and sparrowhawks, too. But, hey…I’ll give it a shot.

The fact that they’re such nice little birds will make it all the ouchier when Renard walks off with one.

Comment from armybrat
Time: May 14, 2010, 12:28 am

my husband the chef would be sold on them just because of the little bitty egg thing. Regular chicken eggs are soooooo pase. But little bitty chicken eggs are glamerous!

Comment from Og
Time: May 14, 2010, 12:46 am

I believe General Tsao rode a Buff Orpington when he went into battle.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 14, 2010, 12:53 am

That it should come to this.

I’m being turned into a frigging zoo-keeper!

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: May 14, 2010, 12:57 am

Lap chickens! LMAO! Okay, I’m sold.

And I don’t have a problem with calling Glenster “Mr. Orpington.”

armybrat: How about inside outside scotch eggs with a hard cooked ostrich egg stuffed with sausage surrounding the leetle tiny eggs?

Uncle B:

I’m being turned into a frigging zoo-keeper!

So, do you like get the cool green jacket with the really tall rubber boots and the cool cap?

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 14, 2010, 1:11 am

It’s the rubber gloves… the ones that reach right up to your armpits, that worry me.

That and the big cardboard box marked ‘elephant suppositories’.

Comment from armybrat
Time: May 14, 2010, 1:33 am

Not sure about that EW1 but the husband does make an amazing deep fried poached egg. Stunning on all levels!

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: May 14, 2010, 1:51 am

Oh you like all the food he cooks, AB…that’s one reason why you love the man, I know. 🙂

These chickens are cute.

Comment from Randy Rager
Time: May 14, 2010, 2:37 am

Oh, go ahead and get the Buff Orps. They make fantastic stewing birds after a few seasons.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 14, 2010, 3:36 am

Buff orpingtons. I know the name is familiar. I am very nearly certain that was the breed kept by Miss Agnes Twitterton, niece of the murderee in Busman’s Honeymoon, the last Lord Peter Wimsey novel. . .

Stoaty, best of luck with the chickens. We all know how tough it is going to be for you, caring for some of nature’s lunchboxes. . .please may it go well!

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: May 14, 2010, 3:39 am

Uncle Badger:

That and the big cardboard box

The one the size of a small lorry? I wouldn’t worry too much unless there’s a firehose rolled up in the top of the box too.

ab~ Just wondering if the egg within an egg thing was possible, but the deep fried poached egg intrigues me. Can I subscribe to your newsletter?

Comment from David Gillies
Time: May 14, 2010, 7:05 am

My sister kept bantams, among others (she had sufficient chooks for selling their eggs at the front gate to be a non-trivial part of her income.) Since she got her first colour TV sometime this century and has never, to my knowledge, used a computer, it may take a relay through her children’s Facebook pages to see if there’s any handy hints to be had. But I’ll give it a go.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: May 14, 2010, 3:12 pm

If I had a yard that was mine and big enough, I’d get chickens. It’s all the rage in these parts theseadays anyway, and I always did want to be with the cool kids. My friends that have urban/suburban chickens say that not only are the eggs much better than what you get in the store, but they’re fun to have as pets, too.

Oh, and if I may indulge in a little completely off-topic link whoring, I think the girl did a fine job, didn’t she: http://www.ksbw.com/video/23550318/index.html ?

Comment from Buff *Chook* Orpington
Time: May 14, 2010, 5:35 pm

Yeah, OK…. now *that’s* a name!! “Glenster” is soooo… passe!

(“On the internet, no one knows you’re a chicken”: isn’t that how the cartoon goes?)

B “C” O

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: May 14, 2010, 5:54 pm

And with bantams, I have to worry about cats and sparrowhawks, too.

Cripes, with banties, you’ll have to worry about *everything* — including earthworms and newts.

Comment from Dawn
Time: May 14, 2010, 6:00 pm

I love birthday posts.

Comment from Allen
Time: May 14, 2010, 9:00 pm

Oooo, can we count Weasel’s chickens before they arrive? Or, better yet are Weasel’s chickens soon coming home to roooooost? Sorry, I know that last part is racist.

We decided to get a couple of chickens this spring. Did. Not. Go. Well. My wolf/dog got into the pen and proceeded to commit chickencide. Snarling, squawking, and total mayhem. I went running out but it was too late. I started to get after the wolf but he looked at me with a goofy look that basically said, “What? I’m a wolf what did you expect?”

He does know that getting after the horses may be problematic. Watching a 1500 pound Thoroughbred chase a wolf can be really funny, that and the horse is faster.

Comment from Deborah
Time: May 15, 2010, 4:12 am

Oh, leedle chickens. I am faintly envious. I have neighbors with chickens, and at least one rooster, who dutifully announces the dawn about two hours before it actually occurs, and then again around three o’clock in the afternoon. It is oddly comforting. I look forward to seeing some drawings of your chickens scratching in the garden.

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