furry friday

Our poor Nick was up through the night vomiting, and although he has no fever and insists he feels fine, I kept him home from school. As you can see, Flip has wasted no time in grabbing a warm lap nap. ;)

sick nick

I managed to do a little stitching yesterday evening. This wonderful WIP is, I think, the first full-size design I did myself. It’s dedicated to a most wonderful woman who has, sadly, passed on. When I finally finish this design, I’m giving it to her daughter Donna, who was like a sister to me. I call this the ES Spot Sampler.

ES Spot Sampler

Last night I confessed to Niek that I’d ordered some fertile Barnevelder eggs to hatch out in our incubator. To say he was not impressed doesn’t really do justice to his response. But I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to “do” chickens and made the decision to go with rare, heritage breeds in an attempt to promote the breeds and perhaps make them more popular. There are enough Rhode Island Reds and White Leghorns – let’s save some of the marginalized breeds before they’re lost. I guess you could compare it to growing heritage vegetables in your garden instead of simply choosing the ones that are the most resistant. Anyway, I’m sticking with my Blue Lace Red Wyandottes because they are not only a rare breed, but a wonderfully friendly and gentle bird. I’ll breed the ones I have, and perhaps pick up a few extras from a not-so-local farmer in the spring (if I can sneak them by Niek, LOL). I’m breeding the Barred Rocks I have this spring to sell chicks, but I won’t add any to what I already have. I’ll phase out the Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons and Black Australorps over time – I really like the Australorps, and would suggest them to anyone as a good layer and a docile bird. And I’ll start a new flock of Barnevelders, a Dutch chicken bred in a town that Max & I lived in when he was a toddler. I’m starting with fertilized eggs because the chicks are nearly impossible to obtain (although My Pet Chicken has some stock starting at $8/chick). They’re a large, friendly bird that bears harsh winters well and that still has some broody tendencies left, meaning I might get some mama birds who’ll hatch future eggs instead of necessitating the incubator. (Broodiness and general maternal instincts have been bred out of modern birds to increase egg production and produce birds that are simply easier to manage.) I have some fun pics of baby Max investigating the Barnvelders when we lived there, but they’re on my other PC and I haven’t yet backed up my old files onto the new laptop, so here are some stock pictures of the breed for anyone who is interested. New adventures to look forward to this spring! :)

Barnevelder collage

There’s work today, and an overdue lunch with my Mom, so I don’t think too much stitching activity will happen. It’s hard to believe how fast this Challenge has gone. I’ve really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to dedicating part of each month to these WIPs until they are finished. :D

About Barbara

nestled into my adopted home state of Maine, where I'm a happy homesteader with a big family that I love lots & lots View all posts by Barbara

8 responses to “furry friday

  • Jeanne

    Well I don’t know much about chickens but sure sounds like you do! What a nice thing to do making a special sampler to honor your friend and giving it to her daughter. I’m glad you posted an update recently on your MM&I neighborhood. Most everyone seems to have abandoned theirs ….I am still plugging away on my Pride & Prejudice neighborhood but it is very large so it’s going to take me awhile. I enjoy reading all about Maine in your blog since it is like a polar opposite of my desert state :).

  • anneke

    I’m with you on the Barnevelders; they look great and can promote Holland in the US.
    I remember the design you stitched today. It’s looking great.

    Get well soon for Nick! the kitten look too cute on his lap with the ears all the way up.

  • Margaret

    I hope Nick is feeling better. Love your design so far! I’m sure your friend’s daughter will love it.

  • KarenV

    Hope Nick feels better soon! Love the photo of him with your cute kitty :)

    I love your WIP, nice progress. Good luck with the eggs!

  • Pat

    I just LOVE the colors on the rooster. I’ve got roosters in my kitchen, go figure, who’d want them in a bathroom? :8-/ I get such a kick out of reading your blog, makes me feel like I’m having a conversation. Thank you.

  • anniebeez

    Those Barnevelders are beautiful! I love to hear all your chicken news!My hubby and I are planning a hobby farm when he retires which will be in about 8 years! He has early retirement-we aren’t that old! LOL!My town has an ordinance against chickens or I would have them now! As it is we drive out to the country to get our fresh eggs, but it is a hassle. I love to hear all about the breeds and what you are planning for spring. I DID start perusing my garden catalogs~ I love the planning stage!

  • mary

    Hope Nick is feeling better.

    Your design is gorgeous!

    You really know a lot about chickens. I bet it’s fun having them around, but also a bit of work. The eggs of the new breed are such a lovely dark color, and both the male and female have gorgeous coloring.

    Have a great weekend.

  • Heather

    What a great colour for a rooster. I love those cute little chicks in the top middle.

    I’d love to keep chickens and have fresh eggs every day. That would be bliss.

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