Dusty Framed

Dusty Framed

This artwork is called “Dusty Framed.” It’s roughly 2’x2.5′.

Dusty was a most excellent rooster of ours with an interesting name. He passed not so long ago. Why was he called “Dusty” you might ask. Or not. I’ll tell you anyway.

First, some chicken and egg basics. Americauna (a breed) hens lay blue eggs. Copper Maran (another breed) hens lay dark brown eggs. If you cross an Americauna hen with a Copper Maran rooster you get a hen that lays a green egg. These hens are often referred to as Olive Eggers.

For many years we had a magnificent rooster (yes, all roosters are magnificent) named Wooster that administered to and protected our flock of hens, many of which were Americaunas. But Wooster got quite aged, lost use of one of his legs and seemed to be losing his sight. We decided we needed a new, healthy rooster if we were going to keep the hens safe from hawks, owls, and other predators.

So in looking around we found a young farm couple advertising a Copper Maran rooster for sale. We reasoned that that rooster could protect our flock and, on the side, produce some green-egg laying hens for us. So we called, visited, negotiated and purchased a successor to Wooster from the young couple with a six-year-old son. Before we left we asked, “Does the rooster have a name?”Dusty

“Yes, we call him Dusty.”

“Why?”

Backing up a second. This young couple had purchased Dusty the rooster specifically for mating with their flock of Americauna hens in hopes of producing a flock of Olive Eggers. Having now hatched a bunch of new chicks, they decided they no longer had need of Dusty which is why he was for sale.

So, the wife explained that one day she and her young son went out to feed the hens, and, well, they came upon the rooster in flagrante delicto with one of the hens. “Mommy, what’s the rooster doing?” the boy asked. Mom, at a lose for words, thought for a moment and then told him, “he’s sprinkling his magic rooster dust on the hen,” to which the child responded, “Cool. Can we name him Dusty?!”

So that’s how Dusty got his name. And I bet you weren’t prepared for how quickly that story got bawdy.

Happy New Year!

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