Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rocket Eggs and Other Hilarity

The month-long standoff between chickens and chicken owners has happily ended. Chickens abide by an ancient internal clock that instructs them to shut down and recharge during the short, cold days of winter. For us, this meant that egg laying came to a screeching halt somewhere near the end of November. A lack of eggs spurs under-the-breath cursing from Jeremy every time he finds himself: a) Filling the chicken feeder with pellets, b) Stepping into a pile of chicken poo delicately deposited on the deck, and; c) Hosing mounds of chicken poo off the top step after being delicately deposited approximately 237 times as the chickens sit huddled in a rainstorm (this has easily happened 45 times over the course of our soggy winter). In short: no eggs for months makes us question the existence of chickens in our backyard. But all of those questions have disappeared since eggs started appearing in the nestbox again (and under the deck, etc). I'm not sure if the raccoon attack kicked them back into high gear, but we've had a constant supply since The Incident. Also, The Incident coincided with longer days, and that is more likely the reason.

In fact, one lady apparently got so excited by the Sudden Onset Egglaying that she spit one out shaped exactly like a miniature rocket. Quite an impressive and efficient design.

In other news...........
Ok, let's face it. There really is no other news. We are deep in the throes of self pity. Pruny and soaked from weeks of chilly rain. This is Texas for godssake and the lack of sunshine and warmth is making us all downright sleepy, bitter, and annoyed.

Sure, sure - I have a healthy perspective about our relative lack of winter compared to our northern neighbors. I've read the cheerfully optimistic farm blogs from those in colder climates huddled around fires, excitedly "reading seed catalogs," and "planning for the early summer garden." Patooey. I choose to stare out the back windows with my arms crossed, a martini in hand, and a frown on my face. Enough already! The cold I can handle, but the rain literally keeps us from the land since we sink deep into the mud in all the areas that require work (read: EVERYWHERE). However, we have plotted out spots for three pastures, thanks to google maps and the GPS app (We love you iPhone!). And we're actually, finally, really, maybe, probably going to install the first pasture soon. My recent find of a real Dexter dairy in upstate New York made us both excited about the prospect of pursuing this route someday. But first: a pasture. And second: an amicable cow (check!).

I leave you with Finger Lakes Dexter Creamery, whose site I hope you'll visit to learn about the reasons why Dexters can make such great little dairy cows. Or to learn more about something called Kefir Cheese. Or to actually buy some farmstead Dexter cheese. Or to roll your eyes and snort at the thought of me someday milking a cow and turning it into something. That's perfectly reasonable. But, the thought of me milking a cow and turning it into something makes the winter pass more quickly. Well, that and the rocket egg, which reminds me of earnest beginnings at the start of a new season.

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