Monday, 22 August 2011

Baked potatoes

Now that Marfona are back in season, we've been eating lots of baked potatoes.  I like smaller potatoes.  I always bake lots. Any unused baked potatoes are turned into sort of oven-wedges the next day.

The Girls lurve baked potatoes.  I try to save them a potato usually, but they usually end up getting eaten by us.

On Saturday I also had a couple of potatoes that were a bit past their best, but I baked them anyway - for the Girls.  As well as pricking the skins (of the potatoes, obviously, not the Girls), I carved a little C into them. Just in case the difference that was so obvious when they were uncooked was lost when they were cooked.

Potatoes were lovely.  No, I didn't eat the Girls potatoes by mistake.  I left the girls potatoes under a food net to cool overnight, and then yesterday, I cut the potatoes up and took them outside. Rather than puttingthem in the Run  I caught each Girl in turn, sat her on my lap, and let her munch the potatoey goodness. A fair reward for putting up with being petted. 

Everyone - except Florence - wanted to participate.  Florence wanted to participate in the eating of the potato, but not in the being picked up and sat on my lap part.   We went round twice, with each Girl being returned to the others in between.

Milly, my cream legbar, doesn't really like being picked up.  When she's in egg laying mode she crouches for me, and I can see as I stroke her that her natural instinct to crouch is fighting with her chickeny nature to just scoot out of my way. 

Since Lily and Daisy died, I have been putting more effort in to seeing if I can get Milly to not mind being handled.   Every time I pick her up, she gets a treat.  I don't hold her for long etc.    A couple of times now when we've been doing individual treats, she's only half-heartedly run away from me, and hasn't run out of my arms' reach (I'm leaning over netting, so I can only reach so far).

Yesterday was one of the days when she only tried a bit to get out of my way. In fact, when I didn't pick her up, she "accidentally" moved back in to range. So, I scooped her up, sat down with her on my lap, and offered her some potato.  She went mad for it.


Milly became very greedy.  She tried to swallow a large chunk of potato and jacket in one go.  She couldn't quite do it, so made that gurgutating movement that chickens (and alligators  and crocodiles and snakes) do when trying to swallow something whole.   I was concerned that this might cause crop problems, so I decided to help out.

I tried to hold on to the end of the jacket that wasn't actually in Milly's beak.  For some strange reason, she seemed to object to this.  I pulled, she pulled back.  Fearing that she might swallow it in an even larger piece, and haunted by the image of Milly with a jackjet potato shaped bulge in her crop (like the shape one might imagine when a snake eats something whole), I let go.  I watched in a mixture of horror, disbelief, disgust and admiration as she managed to get it all in.

The Girls all had very potatoey beaks afterwards, and were very happy.

Here's a quick pick of Tilda, with potato all over her beak.

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