Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.
By Robyn Dochterman
Things are getting interesting around the "farmette" this time of year. Veggies I planted in little containers when the March wind was still blowing are happily producing with enough predictability, I could get a tad smug. But I won't, because while I can grow veggies, I apparently cannot grow hens.
Hens lay eggs. The more hens you have, hypothetically, the more eggs you'll be able to collect. That's what I was thinking this spring when I fired up the incubator and hatched some eggs. Then things got out of hand. We let a broody hen or two hatch her own eggs, and suddenly, there were several batches of little chicks running around for most of the summer.
One by one, those chicks, all lovingly hatched as potential egg-layers, have started to crow. Didn't I learn about probability in math class in school? Well, I must've failed. I think we're running about 80% males. In fact, the yard is positively crowded with roosters.
There's Mr. Mukluks, last year's rooster, who is still king. There's Corona (part of the Mexican beer-named hatch), who's regal and handsome and well, horny as can be. There's also Chloe (who we really wanted to be female). And the other day, we watched in horror as Lint chased one of the girls. What's worse, we've still got five chicks who haven't made their proclivities known yet. At this rate, we'll be lucky to have one or two be female.
As it creeps closer to fall, we're starting to think about reducing the size of our flock a bit. Obviously, we don't need a six-pack of roosters (heck, hens don't even need one rooster to lay eggs!).
Hey, anyone need a pretty rooster? Or two or three or....
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