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More Odd Girls

October 11th, 2008  · stk

NewsBrief: [More Girls] Alex sold some Girl Guide cookies to neighbors and returned home with four chicks (baby ISA-Brown hens) • [Another Odd Egg] Randsco has gone to the birds, as we reported an odd - v.small - egg last week. This week, it's an egg without a shell!

More Girls

Hutton House - Dad and the Oop left the Hutton House, walking to homes of four neighbors, yesterday. (Four homes in our rural location means about a mile of walking). Their quest was to sell Girl Guide cookies, as Alex is now a member of "Sparks" and they raise money by selling popular mint Girl Guide cookies.

She sold three boxes to Charlie and Evangaline - right across the street - and two boxes to Georgina (who lives on the corner and has 4 horses, whom Alex loves to pamper with apples, carrots and fistfuls of grass). Alex's cookie box was 5 boxes lighter, in her pocket was $20, but she also came home with something else - live creatures stashed in her cardboard cookie box!

A couple of weeks ago, Georgina acquired another batch of chicks from the Rochester hatchery in Alberta. She asked Alex if she wanted some more. (Scott had been meaning to ask Georgina about new chicks, as the Hutton House ISA-Brown hens are now a year old and will be slowing egg production this spring. While they're a hybrid that's a prolific layer, they taper off quickly after their first year).

Of course, Alex said, "Yes, please!" and Dad was nodding his head in the background. Out of the 100 or so that Georgina had running around under a heat lamp, in a small shed, she indiscriminately picked out 3 and plopped them into Alex's empty cookie box. She then said that she thought she had a rogue chick, which wasn't an ISA-Brown, but a different breed.

"She's that brown one there," she said, pointing to a much darker chick, amongst a sea of mostly yellow.

"Oh, I want that one, Daddy!" exclaimed Alex, as Georgina scooped it up and dropped it into Alex's Girl Guide cookie box.

So the Oop and Dad returned home with four new chicks, which was quite the surprise for Mom!

These chicks are already a couple of weeks old, so they're not quite the fluff balls that arrived last year.

During supper, the chicks huddled together in the Girl Guide box, but after dinner, Dad cleaned out the wire cage, put blankets around it, added a heat lamp, a roosting stick, water, food and built a "warm-box" out of cardboard, at one end. This will be "home" for the chicks, until they're big enough to be added with the other four Hutton House girls.

The hen population at the Hutton House has doubled, overnight!

Another Odd Egg

Hutton House Hen House - It seems that the Hutton House has again, gone to the birds! All the news lately seems to revolve around four (whoops - sorry chicks ... eight) hens!

We reported an odd (very small) egg last week and this week, it's another egg oddity. This time, it's an egg without a shell!

This is the second such egg that's been laid, but this time - there are photos to back the claim.

The shell-less egg appears to be encased in a rather tough, flexible membrane. The outside is rough, as if a shell was started, but never finished. When it first came out, the membrane was rather taut, but over the course of a few days and evaporation of fluid from inside the egg, the egg lost volume and appears more wrinkled, having collapsed a little.

The assumption is that the egg is normal in every way, just lacking a shell. Despite the presumption of normal contents, egg owners Scott and Rachel are hesitant to consume it ... which is partly why is sat on the counter for three days.

"I'm not eating it," said Rachel.

"Nor I," said Scott.

"I'll eat it," piped up Alex.

"No you won't," said Rachel.

Some readers inquired about the very small egg reported last week.

One reader surmised that it didn't have a yolk. Another asked if it did (have a yolk).

As it turned out, it did - albeit a very (very) small one. (We surmise that the "yolk" is on the reader who thought it didn't have a yolk!) :p

"Boo ... hiss," reported Rachel, groaning at the lame joke.

"It looked more like a small blob, than a yolk," reported the Hutton House master egg gatherer (Scott).

They didn't eat the contents of that egg either, it turns out, though Alex very bravely volunteered (again).

"Parents just have a natural aversion to letting their kids eat unusual things," Scott said.

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Updated: 21-Oct-2008
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1.flag Gary Comment
What a surprise for Rachel when you came home with some new chicks, Was she pleased? They do look nice and the 'Hutton House Egg Producing factory' will have plenty of newly layed eggs soon hey!

That was a weird one with no shell, and I think you made the right choice not to eat it, it might have given someone a dicky tummy !

You Alex looks very happy holding the chick in the photo above, glad she is enjoying it, its nice when kids warm to pets and nature.

2.flag stk Comment
Fortunately, Rachel was pleased with the new acquisition (although the dining room is already starting to smell a tad "coop-ish") :|

Alex does enjoy playing with the chickens. (Since we got this batch a couple weeks later, they're not "bonding" to us much ... wonder if it means they won't be as friendly as our first batch, when they grow up?)