Monday, April 6, 2015

Chick Days

It's that time of year again - chick days!! We had a predator catastrophe this past fall and lost all of our birds except for one mille fleur bantam and three guineas which meant that we had to do a major restocking. I ordered Rhode Island Red hens and a standard heavy assortment from McMurray Hatchery plus we picked up 5 bantam chicks from Orschelns. The RIR hens are 3 weeks old now, the bantams are about a week old and we just received the assortment chicks today. 

For the first couple days, the chicks are inside the house. It's easier for us to keep the temperature regulated and I'm quicker to catch any problems when I can easily see them several times a day. 

Our assortment also included four Turkens! These are chickens with bare necks and they are supposed to be excellent layers and meat birds. That's why I love assortments, we usually get birds that I otherwise wouldn't have purchased. It'll be fun watching these guys grow up. 

When I was raising our little turkey poult last year, I found that he really liked laying under a feather duster so I have one hanging up for our little chicks. They spend a lot of time hiding under the feathers. 

A few of our week old bantams hanging by the feather duster.

Our Rhode Island Reds have graduated on to our floor pen. Within the next couple weeks, they'll be able to start exploring outside. 

Our lone chicken right now. This gal is a fighter!  I assumed we lost her too because she was gone for over a week. Then, I came home from work one day and she was just hanging out in the driveway. She lost a few feathers and a claw fighting with whatever got a hold of her, but she made it back. 

If all goes as planned, we'll be back in the egg business by the end of summer!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spring Fever

There's no such thing as a holiday when you're a farm family. In our house the only difference between a regular day and a holiday is that the Farmer is home for a few extra hours. Easter was no different...the Farmer went out to check on the cattle and get them all fed and watered while myself and the Farm Kid worked in the chicken shed and the yard. 

It was time to move our Rhode Island Reds out of the cattle tank and into the floor pen. Then I worked on getting our garden areas cleaned up - something I should have done in the fall.

Oregano and Thyme are already coming up in the herb garden.

We've been having an issue with Bitty getting out of her fence so we strung a second line this week and the Farmer brought home a larger fencer. So far so good, but she is not happy with me. She has plenty to eat inside her area, but everything looks better to her outside of the fence. 

The Farm Kid is sick of waiting for me to get our big garden going so he decided to start his own right beside our house. I'm hoping to find a sod supplier so we can actually get grass on this side of the house this year. I'm sick of the dirt. But, it does do a good job of keeping kids busy. 

I finally bought some paint so I can pretty up this bike for a garden display. I'm trying to move away from my usual turquoise and blue's so I'm going to try a coral - ish color. 

*Did you find the eggs?*