Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Catering and our little girl, Sarah

This is the back balcony of Styker Sonoma, a beautiful winery in Alexander Valley. We were fortunate to be the caterer for an event there on Monday night. The wind was crazy so the winery moved the event inside. Well...the buffet and guests were inside, the "kitchen" was outside in the howling wind. The glamorous life of a caterer!

I couldn't believe my luck when my old catering partner, Charlotte Stewart (also the very famous Miss Beadle from Little House on the Prairie) agreed to come and help us to serve!

Unbeknownst to me, Farmer Chef Jeff was out in the "kitchen" taking pictures of our food. One is of the set-up for the "Corn Pups", our famous house-made sausage made into mini corn dogs. We did a full on Barbecue menu with the corn pups, the smoked catfish pate, Texas smoked brisket, smoked chicken, award winning collard greens, mashed sweet potatoes, and for dessert, Southern Lemon Yellow Cake, an old family favorite recipe. (I didn't realize that the light in the kitchen cast such a blue light! Isn't this wild?)

Now about Sarah:

See Sarah
See Sarah Sneeze
See Sarah Sneeze and Sneeze and Sneeze

Our poor little girl, our Bantam Old English Game Bird, is sick. She started sneezing yesterday and I immediately grabbed her and moved her to the sick room, the garage. I have learned that you need to move a sick chicken IMMEDIATELY in order to not get the others sick. We set up a heat lamp for her last night and that seemed to comfort her.

I checked on her again this morning and she was actually worse. Now she sounded as though the problem had dropped into her chest. I had to take Ginger in for her check up (to see if her cancer has returned...NO!!! VERY GOOD NEWS!!!) and told our vet about Sarah. This is the vet that talked me into getting chickens, but for some reason I didn't think he "saw" chickens. It turned out that he does so I came write home and put Sarah in a...paper bag. I wanted to use something I could throw away because if she was coughing and spreading bodily fluids, I didn't want to accidentally take that back to the flock. I went so far as changing my clothes after handling her.

Once at the vet he determined that she has an upper respiratory infection AND sinus infection. I need to give her half a pill twice a day for 10 days. We are going back to Modesto for another benefit on Friday and will need to teach our house sitter how to do it! I pray that she will get better soon. She is a sweet and special girl with an incredible personality. Really...

I will give an update on her as soon as I have news.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Amazing Little Eggs!

Some of the girls have just started laying and we can't believe just how amazingly TINY they are!!! The little green egg in the center is literally the size of a large olive! One of the eggs is pale blue and must be from one of our Ameraucana Easter Eggers. We think that our tiny little girl, Sarah, the bantam Olde English Game Bird, is laying the little pale brown/ivory egg and we are assuming that the long, light brown eggs is from Bully, the bantam Brahma.

It would really help if we could actually WATCH them laying the eggs, or check the nesting boxes right after they have laid the eggs. Why can't we? Well...the girls yell at us. They want their privacy. If we stand there...oh, heavens, they SCOLD us!!! They are too funny. They do like the nesting boxes and are finally getting accustomed to the remodel.

The only hold out is Josephine, the little spit-fire bantam hen that is Napoleon's special girl. She insists upon sitting on the edge of the door leading outside. I have to physically go and lift her out of the door way so I can lock up at night. I think she is really just sitting there trying to figure out how to better landscape the enclosure!

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Mighty Miz Sarah and the other Bantam Ladies Lay

Our darling Miss Sarah, the Bantam Old English Game Bird (aka tiny hen) and her step-sister, Bully, the Bantam Brahma hen, have started to lay! We are so dazzled and amazed by the size of these eggs! They are about the size of big olives! Not only have they begun to lay, but our other older bantam girls, Wild Girl and Josephine (both had Ameraucana mothers and unknown fathers) are laying again...we are guessing.

Really, with 50 chickens/46 hens, you really have to guess at who is laying what. I mean, you can't exactly see who is laying which particular egg because we aren't out there all day long. Farmer Jeff went out this morning to collect the eggs that have been laid over the last couple of days only to surprise Sarah sitting on a green egg. Now, we know full well that Sarah will NEVER lay a green egg because she just isn't that kind of girl! Whose egg it was, well, now that we have 9 Ameraucanas, we will really never know. We have seen that some of the Ameraucanas are laying very green eggs while some of them are laying eggs with a slightly more blue hue.

We love all of our chickens equally, no matter what color egg they may lay. Thanks, Girls!

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