As soon as we moved out of town, Child No. 1 wanted an animal – a horse, to be exact. We thought that might be a bit much for a 9-year-old (not to mention us!), so we compromised, or so we say, on a rabbit. One Angora rabbit, to be exact, by the name of Tinkerbell. Cute little thing, violet eyes, fluffy white fur with gray ears, tail and paws. She went to the fair as a 4-H project and came home with a trophy. Of course, Child No. 1 looked around the fairgrounds and saw LOTS of other animals. … Meanwhile, Child No. 2 thought the whole thing looked like a lot of fun, and he was a little guy, so we got another rabbit. A darling little Holland Lop named Peter, Peter Pan, of course. He was later nicknamed Houdini, but that’s another story.
This was where things began to get interesting. We KNEW rabbits were prolific, but we never expected they could reproduce other species. But sure enough, over the next few years a Jersey heifer appeared, followed closely by hogs, turkeys, sheep, ducks, more Jerseys, geese … Turned out 4-H animal and broiler chicken sales were a great way to put aside college cash, and so the animals arrived to be loved and/or milked and/or eaten.
As the children went to college and then moved away, so did the animals, until there was just Hubby, Me and the chickens. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t gag down a store egg, so there were always a few layers wandering around. A grandchild arrived, so the garden got larger again to help provide organic food, and a few more hens joined the flock, this time heritage breeds. Since we had heritage chickens, it seemed only natural to have heritage turkeys. … Recently, the hair sheep, Ewe One and Ewe Two, arrived. Poor Hubby still wonders how all this happened, he never had a CLUE I was a wanna-be farmer when he was dating the bookish girl with long hair who lived on an acre of lawn in a completely modern house!
Our current census consists of Blue Slate turkeys from 3 years to not quite 3 weeks old, a pair of Bourbon Reds that we are hoping will reproduce in the spring, a couple dozen assorted Australorps, Orphingtons and Rhode Island Reds, and a handful of baby Araucana chicks – I’ve always lusted over those blue eggs! So here we are, 25 years from Tinkerbell, wondering just what kind of fairy dust that bunny sprinkled around these few acres, always amazed, never bored at Blue Feather Hollow.