Sunday, April 11, 2010

a plan

Well here's what I started to do:

1. write a very opinionated, offensive piece - couldn't post it - didn't want certain people to read it, so I didn't feel I should post it.

2. find time during my 24 hour website building experience to post on the night, and other things - didn't have a spare moment.

3. write a lovely Easter piece, or anything because post 1 was sitting in the back of my mind, still undecided... really don't feel comfortable posting it. I think I will polish it up a bit, and leave it here.

So here we are almost 2 months after my last post, and I will try to come up with something interesting for you to read.

Spring is lovely. Rebirth, renewal, and life everywhere you look. The gardens starting to come in, the grass and trees starting to turn green. The babies being born.

This spring we decided to order 50 chicks from McMurray Hatchery. We order their super assorted bargain, which means they can send me 50 of any chicks they have, plus they always offer 1 free "exotic" chick. This year's batch looks like it will be so pretty. We ended up with almost half of them being feather footed! I'm so excited to see what they'll grow to be. Our plan is to keep most of the hens, 1 or 2 roosters, and then let them make their own babies next year! We did lose 8 of them the first 48 hours, and McMurray allows you to be refunded for those loses. I was very disappointed, because they seemed to be all of one breed - I wish I had separated them from the rest. But we now have 43 active 4-week-old chickies in our basement! We even had them vaccinated this year to avoid what happened last year, and they'll stay separated from everyone else until they're 6 or 7 weeks old.

Our cat princess had 3 kittens this week. A gray, an orange, and a cream. Cute little ones.

Then there's Mary. Hubby brought her home when she was 4-weeks-old. She is the cutest little pygmy goat, and is being bottle fed until she is 6-weeks-old. We are hoping this will make her more docile when milking season starts for her. We have plans to use Jimmy our male as her husband, since our other female, Annie seems to be oblivious to his charms.

Then there's Betsy. I stopped milking her in March because her milk was decreasing again, and I knew I had several engagements that would take me away during milking. She didn't seem to mind at all, and actually because quite willing to let us pet her (through the fence, when she was in a pen by herself). We moved her down to the "fields" to help us start clearing it out. She happily munched away at the grass and cattails. We moved her further down, and added in Annie and Jimmy. She was so happy to see Jimmy again. She would cuddle up next to him, so content. She died this week. We don't know why. It was almost as though she died of a heart attack, mid chew. It prompted us to get the goats all dewormed and vaccinated. The vet didn't have any ideas of why. It puts a big dent in your confidence as a farmer when your animals keep dieing.

My 5 adult chickens are doing great. Pip my tom turkey has decided it is his job to keep them all in line, he follows them around, proudly on display, making faces at anyone who thinks they can talk to his girls. And the girls don't seem to mind either. Molly, my old lady - we got her when we lived in Minneapolis. She, is just as sweet and docile as ever. She is still the easiest to catch, and everyone's favorite as she's a bantam cochin (small feather footed - black puffball). Clara is a cream colored English game hen - if I remember correctly. Chicken-Licken is the same size as Clara, but is a mixture of a smaller version of Clara with a Red Star rooster we had, so she has pretty golden feathers and cream accents. Henny-Penny is of the same mixture but more standard sized. Chicken-licken and Henny-penny were both hatched on our farm last year. Then there's Peeves. Peeves was named from the morning I though I heard juvenile crowing down in the chicken pen. I figured we had a rooster on our hands until the morning I discovered the most beautiful green egg in the egg basket! Green, yes truly a lovely, pale green. Easter eggs without the dye. Peeves started laying faithfully last fall, but then stopped as they often do in the winter. I didn't think anything of it until this spring when everyone else was laying, and I still wasn't getting any green eggs. The kids & I had several of our very own "easter egg" hunts trying to figure out where she was laying - I still don't know. But finally I gave up, and put her in the hay shed with Mary, and "forced" her to use the egg basket in there and have successfully begun collecting green eggs again! Yippee. I hope I get more green layers in this batch of chicks... or maybe even some with blue tints!

More to come soon.

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