New Chicks!

July 19, 2010

Two new darlings have been added to the flock. The new 2-month old chicks arrived late Saturday afternoon amidst the sound and light show of a severe thunderstorm with tornado sirens blaring. It was quite the welcome—no wonder the little ones are still a bit skittish of me.

It was hard to narrow it down to only two. Chickens are addicting, especially when each breed is so unique, so I have to keep telling myself I only have a backyard, not a farm.

I ended up with two lovelies that fit my criteria. I wanted a breed that was known for its egg laying ability and settled on a Rhode Island Red. This Little Red Hen is known as a great layer of brown eggs, an active bird that can be friendly to the point of following you around the yard. It is a heritage breed and was developed in Rhode Island at the beginning of the 19th century. It’s considered a dual-purpose bird, meaning it can be kept for meat as well as eggs so it’s been a popular breed through the years.

Rhode Island Red (looking bigger than she really is)

My second choice was a Silver Wyandotte. These birds are not only good egg layers, they’re also gorgeous with white feathers outlined in black giving them a lacy look. They’re large fluffy birds, docile, and lay brown eggs. They’re also a heritage breed and first appeared in New York in the 1870′s.

Silver Wyandotte

I haven’t named them yet as I’m waiting for inspiration and to see their personalities emerge. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

Roxanne and Cleo both froze with a stunned look in their eyes when they saw the youngsters. They quickly regained composure and hoofed it on over. They’re spending a lot of time circling the little girls’ coop and Roxanne has taken to honking like a goose, no doubt to the annoyance of the neighbors, trying to exhibit her dominance.

The cats and everyone else have checked out the new settlers, but they seem fairly oblivious to their stream of visitors. They eat voraciously, love anything green – clover, grass, ferns, and want to run wild. I’m keeping them penned in until they grow a little more as I’m not sure my yard is chick-proof, and I don’t relish chasing a wild chick around the neighborhood.

Visiting hours are open, so if you’re in the area stop by!

~ ~ ~

I picked up the chicks at Anoka Ramsey Farm and Garden Center. While there, I also picked up some just harvested Yukon gold and purple potatoes, plus eggs. I couldn’t resist, they’d been grown by the young man who helped me choose my chicks. There’s nothing better than potatoes fresh from the garden. I made them into a French-style potato salad and served them with grilled chicken. Perfection.

French Potato Salad
Print This Recipe

The purple potatoes don’t taste any different, but they do make a nice accent in this salad. Feel free to use all Yukon gold potatoes or red or white new potatoes. You may also add 2 to 3 chopped hard-cooked eggs to this salad.

7 small purple potatoes (about 2 inches), unpeeled, quartered
4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into eights
1/3 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, chives, tarragon
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 medium garlic clove, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Place the purple potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water, add salt (1 teaspoon) and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes or until the potatoes are just fork tender. Drain. Place the warm potatoes in a large bowl. Toss with the shallots, herbs, salt and pepper.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the vinaigrette. Place the vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small jar; shake until all of the ingredients are combined. Add the olive oil and shake vigorously until blended. Pour over the warm potato mixture and toss to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6
(Makes about 5 cups)

10 Responses to “New Chicks!”

  1. July 20, 2010 at 7:40 am, Barbara W said:

    Your chicks look so cute!
    I think I'll try the potato salad recipe this weekend; it looks delicious. Isn't summer great?


  2. July 20, 2010 at 7:55 am, Janice said:

    You'll have to come over and visit the chicks! I hope you enjoy the potato salad, I served it at the lake and everyone loved it.


  3. July 21, 2010 at 4:47 am, -C said:

    Just found your blog by way of a Facebook post by EggPlant Urban Farm Supply store and have spent the last hour enjoying your posts!
    Until this morning I thought that we have the most spoiled backyard flock in the Twin Cities – but I see the award really must go to you :-)
    Delightful reading!


  4. July 21, 2010 at 5:53 am, Janice said:

    I love it, someone after my own heart–a true chicken lover. Welcome!


  5. July 22, 2010 at 8:55 am, Barbara W said:

    How about "Ruby" for the Red Island chick and Dottie for the other? My humble suggestions!


  6. July 22, 2010 at 9:04 am, Janice said:

    How cute! They'll be in the running and I'll let you know.


  7. July 26, 2010 at 8:40 pm, Barbara W said:

    I give this recipe 5 stars! I made it Sunday and it was sooo good.


  8. July 27, 2010 at 4:54 am, Janice said:

    Fabulous! I'm so glad you liked it as much as I did.


  9. August 06, 2010 at 7:17 am, lookingoutthewindow said:

    Congrats on your new girls. It is so hard to settle on just two.


  10. August 06, 2010 at 7:39 am, Janice said:

    Thanks so much, yes if I could have more chicks I would. There are so many fascinating breeds and varieties.


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