Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Farm Fresh Orpington Eggs

My father is a unique person. He is full of life, zest and crazy schemes. If you tell him you want something, he will find it. He bargains, trades and scrounges just about everything. He has projects and plans and is a work-aholic. He is a slave driver in the hay fields, and spoilt brat at the dinner table. I love him dearly. One of his most recent adventures: chickens. My father has a long history with chickens. He had them as a child and at one point I believe showed them in competition..or maybe it was just country fairs...I can't remember now. We had them again when I was a child. I had two precious little Banny hens that actually liked to be handled and petted. I don't remember getting very many eggs, and the ones we did get were quite small, so they were just a pet adventure for me. Sadly, my parent's dogs thought they were quite tasty and we never got anymore chickens.....until now. The farm my parents recently purchased came complete with two very nice chicken coups. This was reason enough for Dad to want chickens again.....and did he get the chickens....quite a few of them including a very beautiful breed called Buff Orpington that lays medium brown eggs. He has a few other breeds as well but the Orpington's are everyone's favorites and are quite a pretty chicken to look at. I have grown fond of taking my food scraps to them and getting the eggs. They now have so many eggs that we don't know what to do with them all so they are selling them to neighbors. The point to all this is that this is one of the reasons you will see so many recipes for baking and quiches etc. I'm trying to figure out what to do with my 3 dozen eggs per week!!! One can only eat so many eggs and toast for breakfast!

Just to get you in the farm fresh frame of mind (say that three times fast), I tried to snap a few pictures for you...but they wouldn't pose for me, despite all the yummy scraps I gave them. I'm notorious for feeding them chicken.....chicken lasagna, deviled eggs, baked chicken skins......its kind of disturbing when I think on it too long. I just hope that one day they don't turn on each other because of the cannabilistic dishes I've been feeding them. OY!
History Lesson:
The original Orpington was developed in 1886 by William Cook (great last name for this huh?). Their ancestor breeds were: Minorcas, Langhsans and Plymouth Rocks (who said a chicken is just a chicken?). By 1905, he had created more colors (rather then just the original black) to include white, ,buff and blue. The breed is famous for its great egg-capacity but it was originally intended as a dual-purpose breed (meat and eggs). The popularity grew through the beautiful contours making this a popular breed to show (who knew right?).

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