Friday, January 12, 2007

Consumer madness

This week I've taken care of a lot of business. I've ordered all our vegetable seeds, all our fruit trees, and (finally, as of this morning) all our baby chicks, poults, and (you knew this was coming) goslings.

The seeds are too many to list. Suffice to say I wasn't satisfied until I had patronized FOUR separate seed companies. (Sheesh! It's a sickness.) The fruit trees are more of the same, really: a few kinds of low-chill-requirement apples, another quince, and a couple of Seckel pears. We went back to Trees of Antiquity again because they rock.

The "poultries" -- why does it amuse me to pluralize that? -- have been requested for the week of April 16, and are as follows:

From Cackle Hatchery*

10 Ameraucana chickens (pullets)**
5 Welsummer chickens (straight run)
4 Embden geese (straight run)
7 Bourbon Red turkeys (straight run)
2 Royal Palm turkeys (straight run)***
2 Blue Slate turkeys (straight run)

* We decided to order some of our birds from Cackle since they had Welsummers (which I wanted for no very easily articulated reason) and their online reviews were quite positive. Plus, they were a lot cheaper than McMurray on almost everything. Never hurts to try something new.

** I think it's kind of stupid that everyone who watches/reads Martha Stewart wants blue and green Ameraucana eggs. But it would be even stupider for us to ignore that demand. Plus, we like chickens with funny whiskers.

*** Why, oh why, aren't turkey poults sold sexed? This order represents an effort to obtain mates for our Royal Palm tom and our Blue Slate hen. But Murphy's Law dictates that we will receive two more Royal Palm toms and two more Blue Slate hens.

From McMurray Hatchery

4 Mille Fleur d'Uccle bantams (straight run)*
4 Porcelain d'Uccle bantams (straight run)
4 Light Brahmas (straight run)
4 Dark Brahmas (straight run)
4 Black Langshan (straight run)
11 Dark Cornish (cockerels)**
4 Barred Rocks (pullets)
4 Speckled Sussex (pullets)
11 Black Stars (pullets)***
11 Red Stars (pullets)

* We are in love with Belgian d'Uccle bantams. We are buying these four Mille Fleurs in hopes of getting mates for our existing boys. We will be giving two (probably roosters) to our friend D, who also finds them impossibly cute. Meanwhile, we're also acquiring four Porcelains, because...well, there's no rational reason. We just want them.

** These Dark Cornish cockerels are to be raised for the table, in a separate chicken tractor. The law of averages dictates that we'll have several other roosters to eat, too.

*** By now you're saying, "This is a SHITLOAD of chickens." Yes, yes it is. But we are brooding 27 of them -- including all these Red and Black Stars -- for other people. So it's not as bad as it seems.