Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The eggs are back and so am I

We are back in the happy situation of having two dozen eggs in the fridge: Angel Cake! Popovers! Fritattas!

Yes, the gals are laying again--even the blind Barred Rock at the low end of the pecking order. Thank God. You know that book The $64 Tomato? Well, I was about to send out a book proposal for The $18 Egg. Chicken-keeping reconsidered.

This year, we are ordering four Araucanas and two Barred Rocks from Murray McMurray. Our days of going for the puffs and polish and brahmas may be gone--we just want sturdy girls who get along.

Meanwhile, all the world loves a chicken--at a workshop last week at Storey Publishing in North Adams, I got to check out the hundreds of books they publish, including this terrific book on chicken coops.

Also, a book called Keep Chickens looked like a lot of fun.

Google sent me this chicken nugget from the website

Bird Brain’ Is a Compliment
Several recent studies have shown that chickens are bright animals, able to solve complex problems, demonstrate self-control, and worry about the future. Chickens are smarter than cats or dogs and even do some things that have not yet been seen in mammals other than primates. Dr. Chris Evans, who studies animal behavior and communication at Macquarie University in Australia, says, “As a trick at conferences, I sometimes list these attributes, without mentioning chickens, and people think I’m talking about monkeys.” Dr. John Webster of Bristol University found that chickens are capable of understanding cause and effect and that when chickens learn something new, they pass on that knowledge (i.e., they have what scientists call “culture”).
How does your IQ compare to that of a chicken?