What a gorgeous day! We still have a fair amount of snow in places but most of it is gone. What remains is quickly vanishing...and good riddance! The creek is running through the back pasture and I see green things growing that were under the snow!
The hens have been laying very faithfully the past two weeks and there are about 7 dozen sitting in the refrigerator now. It's nice to have them back in production. Several customers have expressed withdrawals from our eggs so it feels great to be able to start meeting their needs again. We have many eager for our vegetables too!
The chicks are getting their big girl feathers now and soon we should be able to see which breeds were sent with our brown egg layer bunch and the rainbow layers bunch. I think we might have some laced Wyandottes, but it's hard to tell. The Turkens sure are funny-looking little girls. I think we will give them red-neck names like Bobby-Jo and Peggy-Sue.
Tomorrow is THE day. I am going to get my seeds started for the vegetable garden! I have someone who completed their Master Gardener certification who is volunteering 40 hours on the farm! I am so excited! There are so many things I am doing differently this year...I need all the expertise I can get!
They have arrived and not a moment too soon as we have just been issued a Blizzard warning! I am SO GLAD they arrived a day early!
I received the call from the post office at 7 a.m. and rushed to get the chicks home. I quickly realized that one brooder was not going to be enough for 75 chicks (we actually received 80). So, we ran to town to get supplies to set up two more brooders, each for about 25 chicks.
We used plastic 5-foot diameter wading pools. We constructed a guard out of hardware cloth and covered it with sheets to protect the chicks from drafts. We suspended brooder lamps from the ceiling using hooks and chains. Each lamp had a 250 watt red heat bulb. Each brooder has 1 gallon water and 1 24-inch feeder tray. We used pine shavings as bedding. We were going to use newspaper but the paper was so slippery and we worried about leg injuries.
It took several trips to town and about 6 hours to get everything settled before we felt we could take a break. There were 3 chicks in the bunch that are rather lethargic and probably won't survive, but since we received extra chicks, hopefully it will balance out.
My son was especially excited to see two Turkens in the brown-egg-layer assortment we ordered. I almost ordered them separately for him. They are true "red necks" according to my son. They have no neck feathers and look like turkeys but they are 100% chicken! We are trying to come up with "red neck" names for girls since both are females.
I am wiped out but the day is not over yet. The younger twins have hunter education classes all week for 3 hours each night. SO, no rest for the mama, yet!