Technical difficulties. No web cam. No Internet. Why worry about North Korea when our more immediate fates are in the hands of diabolical IT techs who can muck up your digital world in a heartbeat and then CHARGE you for it. I was zen about it for the first few days, noticed I was reading more, but then the queries poured (okay, more like trickled…) in…inquiring minds wanted to know: “why no updates on the chicken blog?”
Forget about those theories that Obama is the anti-Christ. No, my friends, that title would go to Verizon Wireless and their 45-minute “all our agents are busy” hold times. Worship at their altar a time or two and you’ll see your dark side, trust me. Current status is that I’m on line (kind of) but no web cam for the forseeable future.
But on to more important things, like chickens. It may be summer (not that you’d know it with the continual fog that seems to creep in on elephant’s feet every day) but I’m seeing Autumn colors. In the past week, she’s begun to get some interesting color differentiations, particularly around her neck :
Isn’t she pretty? Hen though she is, in some ways Autumn is neither fish nor fowl. She was sold by the hatchery as an Ameraucauna, a breed subsequent to the Araucauna from Chile. Araucaunas were imported into the United States in the 1920’s and 1930’s, prized as blue egg layers. Here’s an Araucauna hen:
And here’s a photo of an Ameracauna hen:
And an adult Easter Egger hen:
To me, it’s kind of a you-say-tomahto thing. They all look pretty much alike, but to chicken connoisseurs (breeders, not eaters) an Easter Egger is a mutt, while the Ameracauna and Aracauna are show-worthy. A key point, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension web page http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/PS013, is that the Ameracaunas, which were developed in the United States in the 1970’s are larger than the rumpless Aracuana and have a tail. The Ameracauna Breeder’s Club web page http://www.ameraucana.org/history.html discusses that breed and its history in general, but, suffice to say, any chicken with the gene of either those two breeds, mated with any other chicken of any breed, will produce the green, blue or even pink eggs that make these chickens so popular.
According to www.mypetchicken.com, Easter Eggers are exceptionally friendly and hardy, known to be especially good around children. Of my four hens, Autumn stands alone much of the time, but while the others are becoming progressively more independent, Autumn actually seems more willing to be held than when she was younger. She’s a very sweet bird, just like the young lady after whom she’s named.