I have recently done some immigration work on my mini farm here in West Topsham. I needed more help in the coop so I added some feathered friends that have an English background, Speckled Sussex to be exact.
As you can see, they are a fine looking immigrant and will soon be a productive memeber of the farm. I am thinking early this fall they should be really helping with the egg production as I have a strong demand. I suppose you might think of them as an illegal immigrant as they do not have any papers. I slipped them across the border and got them set up on my farm before the ICE folks knew what I was up to. It was like the old days, folks crossed over and were welcome if they were willing to work and be part of my grand design. We used the northern route and avoided all the hubbub with the Ellis Island crowd.
My Speckeld Sussex have a distinguished history. They have an English background and some were responsible for feeding the United Kingdom during the War. They are a dual purpose chicken, great egg layers, and also fine for meat as the hens will get up to about 7-9 lbs., not that I am going to eat my new friends. I cannot quite bring myself to eating my flock.
The addition of my new girls brings my flock number up to 19 hens. I used to have a rooster, a miserable fellow, big Buckeye with reddish feathers. He liked to strut around the yard and jump on hens constantly. When he wasn’t abusing the gals, he was fond of one I named “Stormy Daniels,” he would attack me if my back was turned to him. I finally had enough evidence to send him to rooster jail forever. No more real estate deals or porn playmates for this guy. I couldn’t stand him anyway – just a big blowhard.
Back to my immigration story – the new gals are doing well. The flock has welcomed them and they are fitting right in. I have plenty of work for them all so nobody is going to take anybody’s job. It’s a big coop with lots of space for more so tight quarters are not a problem. I have noticed the newcomers kind of stick together and seem to have their own neighborhood. I think they like the comfort of being with birds of a feather and they do have their own customs. That’s ok, I enjoy all the rich culture they provide. Maybe I should think about celebrating all this cultural diversity with a heritage parade sometime, might be fun for everyone.
They are all “good eggs,” and even my old Puritan bird, a Plymouth Barred Rock has taken to the new English gals without any troubles. Prior to the actual addition to the flock, I let them see and meet each other for a few days in an adjoining pen. Once they have gotten beyond introductions, I have had good luck merging them into the main flock.
I enjoy being their friend and sponsor. They seem to appreciate me and give me lots of nice eggs. Sometimes I think they work too hard, but you know immigrants, they want so bad to be accepted and part of the whole. I am guessing this was the same for when my great grandfather came over from Scotland to quarry granite in Barre. I remember hearing my grandparents and parents tell me their wish for me was to grow up and be a good American. Well, I try, and the closer I get to being a little farmer, the closer I am to my roots. It’s all about fitting in and doing what you can, working hard, and finding a place at the table.
I think my new gals will do just fine.