Class of 2014
Sadly, the Dorothys, our four Buff Orpinton chickens have laid their last eggs. They are now post-menopausal and living out an early retirement in our backyard. It seems early because we have only had them for two years and we weren’t expecting their egg supply to be exhausted so quickly. But this is apparently normal. When they are born, chickens come equipped with all the eggs they will produce over the course of their life (like humans). When we artificially supplemented the amount of light they got each day, it tricked their body into producing eggs more quickly than normal during the short winter days. So, not knowing how long their biological clocks would tick, we ran out early and now we find ourselves buying our eggs from the store again. Lesson learned.
I feel very conflicted about assigning value only to those animals who are fertile, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that we can’t have the Dorothys living in our coop rent-free. And so, as of last week, we have hired their replacements.
Assuming these guys will give us another two years of good laying, please welcome the class of 2014:
These girls, who are three weeks old and already into their awkward adolescent phase, are known as “Easter Eggers”. They are a hybrid breed, a mix of Ameraucana or Auracana chickens crossbred with other breeds. Because they are effectively mutts, Easter Eggers lay a variety of colored eggs (hence the name) and what they’ll look like in adulthood is somewhat unknown. Right now, we think two of them look like hawks, two of them look like ducks and two of them look slightly amish because of their beards.
The Dorothy’s were all named after Dina’s grandmother Dorothy, because as chicks they shared Dorothy’s frenetic tendency to run around in circles and then spontaneously fall asleep in a sudden fit of narcolepsy.
So far, naming rights to these six chicks are still open…