This is a long story. I don't know anything BUT long stories. So bear with me. It's worth it.
When I first heard of feather hair extensions, I laughed. Then I got intrigued. Naturally, I did a search on it.
Who couldn't love that? Or this?
pic from http://www.frugaledmontonmama.com/2011/09/15-for-five-feather-hair-extensions-40.html
Granted, I have vowed not to color my natural blonde hair any more. But WOWEE. I was bowled over. I'm sure the horses would really have been impressed by my feathery hair. Ha. So I started doing some research into what kind of chickens made these feathers. After all, if people charge THAT much for feathers, the chookies themselves should be easy, right?
erm, NO. Turns out that you can't buy one of those chickens without taking a second mortgage out on your house, and that only IF you can find someone willing to sell one to you. That's a bigger IF than you think. So I started looking at other breeds with long tails and saddle feathers. I was determined. I wanted these!
First on the list was Onagadoris (found after extensive online research). Again, nobody really wanted to sell, and if they did, the price was mind-boggling. Check out the tail on this guy:
pic from http://news.softpedia.com/newsImage/The-Longest-Tail-The-Onagadori-Cocks-2.jpg/
OK, so the next available were Phoenixes and Yokohamas. After searching the country (or so I thought), buying those kinds of adult birds were WAY beyond my reach. I thought about chicks, since there are several hatcheries offering both Phoenix and Yokohama, but by then, I'd just about given up. I actually DID give up eventually, trying to focus on writing my column, raising my kids, and loving my plain old laying chickens. After all, did I really NEED feathers in my hair? No, but I had started falling in love with the looks of these chooks.
Enter a kind friend (yep, you, Dawn U!) who added me to the Kansas Poultry Swap on Facebook. Somehow, talking to poultry people is relaxing. You have to speak gently to chickens, and it seems to be a way of life for most of the poultry people I've met. They may be loquacious, they may be taciturn, but it seems that, at least around here, everyone is willing to help out somehow. I LIKE THAT.
So imagine my glee when someone posted on the swap site that they had some spare Yokohama roosters to get rid of (this is you, Candace :D ). OK, I nibbled. When she offered to throw in a Phoenix/Yokohama pullet, I bit. She had me hook, line, and sinker. I'm glad that my husband agreed (after all, it was a terrific price!!!!!!) and humored his crazy chicken lady wife.
Right now, those two beauties (the white pullet is Sushi, the Silver Duckwing roo is Maki) are in the quarantine cage. I'm pretty dang sure they're healthy, but you all know how paranoid I can get. I've been visiting them just about every hour. I just can't get enough of seeing their gorgeousness. Here's some for you too:
As always, pictures just don't do them justice. They are beautiful, amazing birds. I hope I can make friends out of them while they're quarantined. They do seem fairly gentle, maybe a little flighty, but we'll figure something out. Sushi should be just about at point of lay. I might just have to keep them separate and let her hatch some babies. Don't think I'm not tempted.
So big THANK YOUs go out to Dawn U and Candace H. My dream has finally come true and it's because of you ladies. I can't wait to pay it forward. And no, I'm not going to pluck them bald. They're much prettier with their own feathers than I'd ever be.