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March 27, 2023

Bubble Has a New Pal . . .Meet Butty!

Have you noticed that our mute swan, Bubble, now has a young pal?  Butty, a nine-month-old male came to us in March all the way from Chicago.  Butty still displays some of the dusky brown-gray feathers of youth.  When he matures, he will be entirely white.

Why is he called Butty?

As many of you know, Bubble’s brother was Squeak.  They were named by Innkeeper John Mellor for the famous British dish, Bubble and Squeak.  And also because the noises they make sound like bubbles and squeaks.  When we lost Squeak to natural causes, we were anxious to get a companion for Bubble.  But what to call him?

A Butty is an informal term for a sandwich in the United Kingdom.  Typically, butties have hot, savory fillings.  The most common are chips (French fries), bacon, sausage, and egg.  Bacon butties were a great favorite of Innkeeper John.  He made them for his children when they were small.  (His recipe was white bread, bacon, and ketchup!)

The first time Jack to me to England, we went to the theater in London’s West End.  We had a light supper afterwards at a nearby restaurant.  The post-theater menu was promoted as Bubble and Butty—champagne and bacon sandwiches!

So the name honors John and brings back a wonderful memory of his homeland.

Fun fact:  I had assumed the Brits named bacon sandwiches after pork butt.  But according to Better Homes and Gardens http://www.bhg.com/chip.butty, the term is actually a shortened form of bread and butter.  

The picture below was taken by our own Eddie—a handy guy with a camera as well as other tools!  We hope you will stop by soon to greet our swans.  Don’t forget to ask for a bag of lettuce in the office to share with them!

Bubble and Butty have become fast friends.

Bubble and Butty explore Buckhorn Inn Pond.

June 21, 2022

Update on Buckhorn’s Flock of Hens

Many of you have kindly asked after our laying hens, so I am providing an update.  Our pullets moved from their brooder into their coop, the Greenlayer House, earlier this spring.  (The coop is behind the Greenbrier House, so what else could we call it?). We moved them two by two.  They all seemed excited by the adventure, with the exception of Hazel.  She complained loudly the entire way:  “Where are you taking me?  I like the brooder!  What do you think you are doing?  Don’t I have a choice in this?”

Ultimately they all settled into their new coop.  We kept them inside for the first two weeks to reinforce the idea that the coop is their safe place.  Then we let them out into the run during the day.  Jack spent a lot of time and effort “critter-proofing” the run.  We feel we have done our best to guard against raccoons, foxes, opossums, snakes, hawks, and other varmints.  As the locals have told us, unfortunately there is no way to “bear-proof” a chicken coop.  They are attracted by the scent of the chicken feed, so we take it away each evening when we close our ladies safely into their house for the night.  So far so good.

Hens Try Free-Ranging

Last evening we let our little flock free range for 20 minutes or so before bedtime.  Ever intrepid and plucky, Hazel led Quiche, Omelet, Benedict, Scrambled, and Poached on a grand tour outside the perimeter of their run.  Scrambled, however, tried an interesting tactic.  She let the others spring out of the run, then she ran back to gobble more food.  She then plopped herself down in the coop doorway as though she were claiming the space for herself.  I think she was daring the others to come back!  However the sounds of fun from the rest of the flock were too much, and she soon joined them on their jaunt.

The hens proved fearless in their explorations.

Our hens loved exploring outside their run!

Hazel faithfully led her merry little band back into the run.  Usually they climb into the coop and select their roost space by 9:00 pm.  They appeared so excited by their adventure, however, that they stayed outside and talked about it until nearly 9:30.  It was quite dark by the time the last one entered the coop and I could close the door.

Our hens are growing quickly and we expect our first egg sometime in mid-July.  We will keep you posted!