Mother's Day 2016

When my mother was a young woman,
She decided to paint the heads
Of thousands of flathead pins.
A few hundred of this color,
A few thousand of that.

Then she would push thousands of these pins
Into blocks of styrofoam
To make beautiful paintings.
She did two of these,
One of the crucifixion,
The second of Jesus and Peter on the sea.

These hung in my home all of my childhood,
Until time eventually reduced the styrofoam
To dust.

In my mom's last few years
She painted rocks,
A step up from styrofoam.
I've kept one that she painted
Recalling one of her lost pin paintings.

 

Happy Mother's Day Mom.
You are loved and missed.

250 fresh eggs - the colors they were laid.

Birth of an Obsession

In August 2013, I came across this picture on BackyardChickens.com.

It was a chicken egg that came from cross breeding a chicken that laid blue eggs with a chicken that laid dark brown eggs. Blue and brown made olive green. Who knew?

I thought it was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen. The next day I went online and ordered a new flock of birds that would arrive April of 2014. Half of them “Easter Eggers”, chickens which lay blue green eggs, and the rest Cuckoo Marans, a very dark brown egg laying breed. I wanted to breed some of these “Olive Eggers” myself. I’d had a flock of 20-40 chickens for most of the past 14 years and this seemed like a fun science project!

As I waited for Spring to come and the arrival of new chicks, I continued to read more about other varieties from all over the world that lay colored eggs. I learned about some of the genetics involved, and found colors I never knew existed. I found galleries online of colored chicken eggs and became enamored with the beauty of some of the arrangements.

My 40 chicks arrived in April, but by May I already had bigger plans to develop, not just green eggs, but to explore as many different colors of natural chicken eggs I could discover or breed.

I purchased more chicks of several new breeds and began building a small farm with a maximum capacity of about 200 chickens over the summer of 2014. I designed the entire facility but had the help of many friends, neighbors, and family building the 12′ X 36′ coop, a 4000 square foot pen open to acres of pasture, and four breeding pens.

At present I have about 180 hens and nine roosters, and about 50 young ones I hatched this past January. I currently have 13 breeds of birds.

I want to keep this small and of the highest Quality.
I think people are gonna like this.
I hope so.

paul Hudspeth

What Chicks Want

When we buy our eggs
We want to know
Cage-Free, Free Range, Pastured?

We want to see a flock of hens
In a sea of grass.
We all know,
Chickens want grass.

But they want more. 
Chickens also want a stable home,
The same place to sleep in every night
And lay eggs in every day.

Protection from cold winds, rain and snow.
Allowed to wander for acres,
Chickens will always come home at night.
They are the original creatures of habit. 

Chickens also want shaded places,
Under a porch, and out of the sun.
Overhead protection when the rooster says GO!
The earliest chickens lived in dark jungles.

Chickens want to get down in the dirt,
Every day. 
They wallow in established dust pits for hours,
On their backs,
Feet in the air. 
Animals that exude Joy
As loudly as a happy puppy.

Chickens want the opposite sex.
A few roosters in the flock
To provide natural tranquility and protection.
The hens relax and forage, 
Someone has their back.

Chickens want to be social beings.
They negotiate for position in the flock,
They move up and down in rank.
And up and down the roosts.
They have their favorites to sleep with.

There is more to a life of a happy chicken
Than just grass.
 

yell

I see predators at my place often,
Coyotes, foxes, hawks.
I’ll stand outside and watch them a while,
But when I’m done,
I yell;
And for whatever reason,
They startle and run.

Sitting quietly with my girls today,
Watching a creature so defenseless
Against claw, tooth, and talon;
I realized it has evolved an incredible,
Ear splitting
Defense.

Little Blue - aka "Pipes"
Blue Laced Red Wyandotte