Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Ladies are here and we have a Winner!!

We are now the proud owners of 4 very unique hens! As you all know, we have been preparing for this day since we arrived in France. We have researched which breeds we wanted, we have built a coop and run from scratch and we have waited patiently for the chicks to be old enough to come to our home.

This Friday we went to the Riberac Market (similar to the Brantome Market that we mentioned before but much much bigger) where we met with our French teacher Derek so that he could help us snake our way through this massive market to find the one and only guy selling chickens. When we found the vendor, he had everything from turkeys, to parakeets, to ducks and of course chickens. We were thrilled to see that he even had one of the breeds of chickens that we most wanted. The Faverole. The Faverole is a beautiful bird with a giant "mustache" but unfortunately the vendor was selling almost all of his birds in pairs, one male and one female. Since we didn't want a rooster, we couldn't get it.  Our attention turned to a bottom cage with 4 petit hens (Bantams).  We were so anxious to get a hen on this beautiful afternoon, we decided on getting one. We choose a Black Silkie Bantam with wispy charcoal  feathers that looks like fur.  A rare and exotic Bantam hen was our first addition to our new family in France. The vendor boxed her up,  we said our goodbyes to Derek and we went on our way back to Chateau Marouatte....... well, almost.

  We got about halfway home before we decided to turn around and go back. While we were debating on which Bantam to get, we kept going back and forth between 2. One was the Silkie and the other was a spunky little thing that clearly ruled the roost. The more we thought about her the more that we wanted her and we used the fact that they were both miniatures to justify getting 2 of them instead of the original 1. The new hen is a Pekin Bantam which is also exotic!  On the way home, again, we named our new girls. The spunky Pekin was clearly royalty in her world so she became Queen Pickle and the Silkie is Lady Bean and they are both 6 months old. We felt that the royal titles would suit our new show birds. *Just a side note about Bantams: they lay eggs about the size of a golfball! 

Today, we went to see Madame Audenard, a local hatcher who sells chickens. We had previously ordered 2 girls from her, one Black and White and one Brown. Since she doesn't speak English, and our French doesn't include chicken lingo, we have no idea what breed they are, but we do know that they are girls and will be productive egg layers so fair enough. And here is the part you have all been waiting for (ok maybe not) ......we named them Biscuit and Dolly. It was a TIE! So the Winners of the name contest are Eugene and Beth. When you guys come to visit us you can collect your prize!

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