Spring has sprung! What does this mean for The Little Reds? It means orange blossoms, baby chicks, and lots of maintenance. We were slated to have a Hell Niño for the record books. Meh. We had more than no rain. Which was very welcome, but not the onslaught we prepared for. Our citrus tress LOVED the extra water! We have had what seems like billions of blossoms and the scent is intoxicatingly heady. The bees are abuzz and the ladies are treating themselves to blossom baths.
We have a different group of ladies than when I last posted. Only Florence and Henrietta remain from our original eight. Henrietta is going through the change, and has taken to crowing in the morning. Obviously, we have taken to calling her “Hank.” One of our newest hens, Cloris Leachman, went broody about a week into her first laying season. Apparently this is what bantams do. Who knew? She is a stubborn gal and was not about to be broken of her broodiness, so off to Trader Joe’s we went.
Did you know the Trader sells fertile eggs? Yep. So if you’re not down with eating embryos read those labels. Last year we managed to hatch 3/7 of the eggs we put under Gertrude (RIP, btw).
Sadly, the only female of the three was attacked by a raccoon one afternoon, and the two dudes were invited to no longer live with us. I think I need a sign on our coop that reads, “Roosters: You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”
Two of the three TJ’s eggs under Cloris, are still viable and should hatch next week! Additionally, we found a breeder nearby who just hatched adorable chicks crossed between a Cream Legbar (like our Pat) and a Bielefelder. They are auto-sexed, which means you can tell right away if they are male or female. Hallelujah! So we hopped in the Space Ship and drove down to Bonita to pick up our babies. They should be hearty lasses and lay jumbo key- lime green eggs! Welcome to the backyard Alice Cooper, Bernadette, and Cecilia!
Our plan is to let Cloris hatch her two eggs and then sneak these gals underneath her her as she sleeps. Wish us luck!