Sunday, April 21, 2013

Too Sexy for My Comb


It feels so good to know that Spring is officially here and that Winter has packed her bags and moved on. I can deal with the occasional 30 degrees at night when the daytime temperatures climb back up and the sun comes out. The chickies must agree and thankfully, for now anyway, threats of a strike have ceased. We got17 eggs yesterday plus I have 9 dozen in my refrigerator. (I made another sign for eggs for sale and put it out this afternoon, but so far no takers.)

Spring also means two other important things around here: #1 Dan will be busy soon in the fields and I will be left with all these crazy birds and #2 it means Baby Shawhan will be here in just about 2 more months! I think the hens are excited to meet the new addition, but I think Cad-Buddy and Chicken Hawk could care less. All they care about is the fresh meat coming up in Flock 3 and wondering what is going to happen to them if there are any new roosters in there!

Having roosters is fun and not so fun. It's fun to see how and big and gorgeous they get and to hear them crow. It's also not so fun to hear them crow because it does get annoying, and they can get attitudes and chase you around. Amazing how a little feathered creature can terrorize you.

Anyhoo, I've been wanting to showcase the iconic feature of chickens in general for a long time now: the comb! Now that I have two different roosters who gladly modeled for me, I feel like that time has come. (Though I'm sure there is a plethora of information out there, I was not patient enough to do a very through I have sweet potatoes in the oven!)

Every chicken is equipped with a comb. It's that pink fleshy thing on top of their heads. It helps keep the chicken's blood temperature regulated: cools them off in the summer and warms then up in the winter. It is also something used to attract mates. The bigger and pinker the comb, the better...though OF COURSE the comb is bigger on the males. If a comb is bright red or pink, it is a sign of good health and screams, "YOU SHOULD MATE WITH ME SINCE YOUR OFF-SPRING WILL SURVIVE!" (I know this because Chicken Hawk told me so.)

Different breeds of chickens sport different types of combs. They come in all shapes and sizes and have a variety of interesting names such as Cushion, Strawberry, Rose, Buttercup, Walnut and V-Shape. Most of our chickens wear the classic Single comb. As shown here by Cad-Buddy:

Another popular type is called the Pea Comb, which is breed-oriented and is characteristic of the Araucana, such as Chicken Hawk:

Cad-Buddy is definitely the top dog here on the Shawhan farm. It's funny because it used to be Chicken Hawk, who matured faster and who we knew right away to be a rooster. It took awhile for Cad-Buddy to blossom out, but once he did, he took over as alpha male. Cad-Buddy is already doing that head shaking thing, which I'd like to learn more about, and was something Foghorn began to do too. I keep waiting for Cad-Buddy to get aggressive with me...he hasn't yet, but I also don't go in the coop with him in there anymore. I don't do it because I'm getting nervous of him and once he senses that he'll get aggressive.

Isn't that bad...I let a rooster intimidate me?

Some of the Beefy Boys wanted to say "HI!" to everyone, so here they are!

Happy Spring to all!


                                                                                                            ...cluck... cluck... cluck...

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