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Showing posts from October, 2015

The Grasshopper and the Ants

I suppose the irony of the first snow this past weekend was that I had just finished reading the classic tale of the grasshopper and the ants to my son during the school week. Somehow I was caught off guard by the drastic change in weather and spent most of my weekend scrambling around our little homestead trying to tie up loose ends for the impending winter weather while also clearing space for the new pellet stove and its fuel.

It is funny how in the course of a week how quickly things can change. Earlier in the week a friend of the family had stopped by and helped extend the chicken run, nearly tripling our original space. It was something I had been eager to accomplish for some time and was very happy to finally see it done. Mother Nature was not going to let me pat myself on the back for too long though and she quickly followed with temperatures below freezing for two consecutive nights. According to the farmers almanac this year is supposed to bring more of the frigid temperatu…

Swedish Flower Hen

The rare Swedish Flower Hen has a unique story. Called Skånsk blommehöna(Bloom Hen) in their native country of Sweden this landrace breed was thought to be extinct in the 1970's. (The term landrace refers to the fact that S.F.H.'s were free to develop for nearly five hundreds years without interference from man, so to speak). But in the late 1980's the Swedish Poultry Country Club located isolated flocks in the villages of Esarp, Tofta and Vomb. The gene bank that was eventually created by the S.P.C.C. was successful and there are approximately 1,300 Swedish Flower Hens currently in Sweden.

While enthusiast of rare breeds continue to work hard to increase the numbers it is painfully obvious why they slowly fell out of favor nearly 100 years ago. Though rare and visually stunning they cannot equal the number of eggs some of the top laying hens produce in a peak yearly cycle. Swedish Flower Hens average around 150 eggs over the course of 12 months. Compare that with the nea…