Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lady In Waiting

This week has been busy and exciting.  Took advantage of some much needed free time in between major projects!  First off...we visited the Leesport Market for a flea market 2 Sunday's ago.  It proved to be a fun little side trip and we ended up adding 4 new hens to our collection.  We got a clear Indiana Glass Hen (like our Carnival Glass hen) for $5.  We also got 3 Milk Glass hens made by Westmoreland Glass...(1) 5" hen and (2) 3" hens.  Cool thing I learned about Milk Glass is when held up to the light, the edges of the glass will glow orange/red like fire.  Older Milk Glass displays this trait.  Newer glass will not do that.  The lot of 3 hens cost of $15, but the woman selling them knew where they came from and said there were easily from the 50's.  The fact that there were no makers marks in them except numbers printed inside confirmed their age.  There was a period just prior to the 50's where no makers marks were used by this manufacturer.  Both small hens have red painted heads, eyes and waddles.  The big hen was all white, unpainted.  Last Friday, I ended up with a bit of free time and found myself wandering a local antique barn.  They had all sorts of things and it was a nice jaunt through history.  Found a few hens there as well....also all Milk Glass.  I ended up buying a neat Hen on a Basket (also Westmoreland Glass) and a matching 5" hen with painted head.  We now have lots of Milk Glass!  I also bought a digital bible of sorts all about these things.  Found one more small Milk Glass hen at a thrift store.  This one was made by Hazel Atlas and the markings proved it a nice ripe old age as well, which made me happy.  Here are some pics of the finds:

Westmoreland 3" salt chicks and Westmoreland Hen on Basket

Hazel Atlas Chick

Westmoreland hens...one with painted head.
Speaking of HEN ON NESTS.....
After giving some eggs to my friend for her daughter's project, Miss Grun seemed to have stopped laying and has taken up residence in the nest box.  We decided to let her hatch afew eggs.  We gave her 3 eggs....one from Flower, one from Rosa and one from Weiss.  They will all be mixes.  :(  Sure wish Grun would have laid one more for us!  She would have the only pure bred offspring!  Anyway, for 2 days now she seems to never leave the nest.  She's being a good Auntie and Mama.  Today, when I let the gang out for the evening, she quickly vacated the nest and ran out with everyone.  I was very worried she would bail on her eggs.  She went right to the dirt spot and took a bath.  I did read that mama's in waiting like to get out to bathe and as long as they do not let the eggs cool too long, things are fine.  So she got some outside time and Genny took her back and put her in the nest box and she got cozy and hunkered down on the eggs again.  By this weekend, we hope to try candling to see that they are indeed cooking.  We should be able to see the veins running around the egg after 5 days of incubation.  Good luck Auntie Grun!  We know you will make a good mama!  Will make a plan to get her a little pen set up so she and the chicks can spend time in the grass and have a shelter without having to stay with the big girls.  The chicks will need different feed and mama will want to show them how to find bugs and forage, an advantage our gang didn't have! We did get them out in the grass and they seemed to figure it out on their own, but I'm sure it's nice to have a mama's wing to hide under!  

We marked all 3 eggs with the date (they were hatched and also starting to incubate on the same day), name of the girl who laid that egg, and lots of good luck to the little chicky inside.  A little egg time capsule of sorts.  21 days is standard incubation for chicken eggs, however, I did read that eggs will hatch in about 20 days if the hen is incubating them.  Also some trivia....the mama rotates the eggs 50 times a day.  No wonder a setting hen looks like she's in a trance....maybe she's counting!  Grun also puffs out her feathers and makes little noises.  I think she's trying to 'scare' us from messing with her.  She's very cute.  I'm sure she will be a force to be reckoned with once the chicks come and she has to protect them.  Not sure what we will do if all hatch....Lila might be replaced if we end up with another rooster!  Or we could actually cull the babies when they are still young and tender (males).  50/50 chance for each egg....guess we'll see who makes it and what they end up being!  Wish us and Miss Grun lots of luck!!!
Our fence is complete for now.  We may still end up adding a piece across the other side of the house as they will go around to get in the flower gardens.  We still keep an eye on them so can usually round them up before they get too far.  The garden is also complete.  It looks great and we got some things planted over the weekend.  Still have more to plant.  Who would think a 10x10 garden would seem so small once you plant!  We have 12 plants of corn (strawberry popcorn), afew butternut squash, sunflowers, parisienne carrots, yellow and red bell peppers, and some herbs.  We'll probably put some more things in and we definitely want some tomato plants. 
Hard to see it, but the fence goes up the whole side of the yard, about 5' in from the neighbor's bushes.

Finished garden all fenced in complete wtih gate. 
What a productive week!  Hoping to get all of this work done so we can play all summer!  2 weeks until we pack up the bus for our next weekend camping adventure!  Stay tuned for an update on the eggs!
Keep turnin' your eggs, cluckers!