It’s Monday and I have SOOOOOOO much to tell you!!!! Some weeks I feel like I have nothing to say, and then other weeks I have ALL THE THINGS to say. This is one of the latter. I’ve got the Dollhouse Therapy finale coming at you tomorrow, the final reveal of the new fans in the kids’ spaces coming Wednesday, and I even want to tell you about an opportunity that I did not get… I tried but I did not get it. Sometimes we don’t win or achieve our goals and those experiences are just as important if not more so than the ones where we do get what we want. I’ll be sharing that on Friday. And to top it off, I just got home from a week away at the beach and want to fill you in on that, but it will have to wait. I ended my vacation a little early so that I could make it home in time to attend the Maryland Poultry Swap with my family Saturday morning. We were finally ready to turn our coop for 8 into a home, and a friend had told me this was the place to go find all varieties. We took home 4, plus bought 2 more from a friend, and are now the proud owners of 6 chickens. Today I am inviting you to come meet the chickens.
I thought I would start with Vader, who is quickly becoming our pet. Sawyer selected this chicken at the swap because she was red (a Rhode Island Red) his favorite color. And, of course, if you didn’t already guess, he chose her name.Vader is a special chicken… she’s the smallest of the 6 and is the only one who can fit through the wire fencing on our split rail. After owning her for all of two hours on Saturday, I was sure we had already lost her to a hawk. I searched the entire yard and she was nowhere to be found. We finally broke the news to Sawyer and it was received with tears and devastation. I felt terrible. Chris headed off to our friend’s to pick up the last two chickens, and when he returned he found her hanging out on the porch. We were so happy to have found her again, and since then she’s redeemed herself by being quite the little lover, winning over all of our hearts.
Now let me show you my pick from the swap. I really wanted a silkie, because they’re just so soft and pretty. We found this girl with beautiful gray downy feathers, and I named her Aunt Bee. A friend told me that silkies can’t see that well and aren’t the brightest. That seems to be holding true. Sunday morning I went for a run with friends at 6 am, and before I headed out I opened the coop. When I returned, all but Aunt Bee were out of the coop. I had to get her out myself! So she may not be bright, but she sure is lovely.These are the last two we bought at the swap: Donut (the olive egger, or gray one) and Sunny, the white Americauna. Donut seems to be a bit bossy and when Vader tries to escape, Donut (along with one other I will introduce next) is right on her, pecking her back in. Sunny seems to be smart and cautious and has a pretty calm temperament. The next two we purchased from our friends at Harmony Hill Farm. One of my very best friends owns this farm. Our two largest girls came from them, as they’re about two weeks older than the others. The one below is the largest, a Buff Orphington… Sawyer named her Clucky. She’s large and in charge, and also stops Vader from escaping and tends to antagonize poor Vader a bit. Fortunately for Vader, Emmy is out there often giving her love.Our last chicken is one that had a name pre-selected by me… I had to have one named Nugget, so this lucky girl gets that title.She’s a cross between a Rhode Island Red and a Leghorn. Nugget tends to just keep to herself and stay out of trouble. I’m waiting for her personality to emerge. She doesn’t mind being held.And she’s happily free ranging while some of the others stay closer to the coop for now.Sunny and Aunt Bee tend to stay near or under the coop.Speaking of the coop, I’ll have a real post coming as soon as we finish all of the details (give me a few weeks!), but here’s a little peek, with Sunny grazing nearby.We’ve got about 8 more weeks to go before we can expect any eggs, but I am excited to begin raising chickens. It’s going to be a great experience for all of us!
The swap itself was an awesome event and something unique for our family to attend. I’d recommend going even if you aren’t in the market for poultry or farm animals of any type, simply because it’s a great learning experience. There are also a lot of artisan vendors, local veggies and honey, as well as plants. I snapped some photos so I could share this unique adventure with you.
There was so much more to buy and see, aside from several breeds of chickens. There were beautiful peacocks, ready for their new homes. Look at those gorgeous colors catching the sunlight.This goose was not happy to be penned and was letting all passer-bys know his feelings.He wasn’t the only goose around, just the noisiest.Aside from geese, peacocks, hens, roosters, chicks, and ducks, there were several mammals as well including bunnies, goats, pigs, and even some adorable beagle pups that reminded us all of Charlie.
Once we selected our chickens (you have to do that first thing or you risk losing the chance as they go fast) and made a lap to visit all of the animals, we made a final lap to see all of the local flowers, produce, and handmade products.I purchased some of these… YUM! I haven’t yet had the chance to go blueberry picking, but plan to go this week.This gentleman was working with metal and leather and created some awesome sculptures as well as jewelry.One vendor had all sorts of feather art like this wreath. I am not much of a wreath girl, but I loved this one.He also had several pairs of feather earrings for just $5 a pair… I took a pair of black an white spotted ones home.Rocky Bottom Farm, the farm that had the baby goat with them had goat’s milk bath & body products like lotions and soaps. Emmy and I selected one of each. The hand spun pottery was beautiful and the colors caught my eye. I’ve always wished I had this skill.Once we finished making the last lap, Sawyer was ready to go. Unbeknownst to us, he walked over to where we purchased his chicken, picked her up, and surprised us all by showing up ready to go with Vader in his hands. These two…So far, my experience with chickens has been nothing but enjoyable. I’ve loved seeing my kids excited about them, involved in the handling and selecting, and I look forward to more good times as well as fried eggs, frittatas, and omelettes! 🙂 I’ll be sure to share the shenanigans as we travel along this chicken raising adventure.