Saturday, May 11, 2013

small starts


This week our family was joined by the first of our much anticipated chickies.

Our Wyandottes didn't hatch out so we ended up with a mix of Australorpe, Barred Rock, Golden Buffs and Rhode Island Reds.  My favorite are the Barred Rock.  Of all the chicks are the most stoic and snuggly.
We will be joined next week by some more chicks... lots more chicks. pictures to follow.  Can I have a crazy lady chicken confession now?  I was told, and read, that if you mail order chicks you should figure in about a 30-40% mortality rate.  I wanted to end up with between 12 and 16 laying hens, so back in January I ordered a straight run of 25 from a little farm in VT.  Then I got worried that I would end up with mostly roosters and so I found a vendor that offered smaller orders (and had Wyandottes) so I ordered the twelve pictured above.  When we went to pick up our chicks at the post I told Sadie, who was over-the-moon with excitement, that some of the chicks might not be okay when we opened the box.  "Yes mom," she tells me, "I know some will be sick and some will be healthy."  Kids are amazing.  
Well, we opened that box to 12 very lively chicks.  "They are all so healthy mom!"  says Sadie.  Well, I figure that maybe I can call the guy in VT and cancel my chick order since he might not have started incubating the eggs yet.  Nope, they are scheduled to hatch this Monday, so it looks like our flock will be growing, and chicken dinner, as well as fresh eggs, will be on the menu for next winter.  And I'm okay with that.  And I have the best chicken helper in the world.

Sadie: self-proclaimed "chicken mama" The next trial our chickens must endure is the overzealous, but very sincere love of an almost-three-year old.

and... because we are trying to be more realistic estimators of our building time (aka it took us 5 months to build a table)  we decided to forgo building the chicken coop this year, and this is my mother's day present:

pretty dang spiffy, and probably a lot classier than what we would have come up with. And it's always good to support local skilled craftspeople when you have the option.  

In other news, Eli-Bear's new early morning style has been very conducive to getting some garden projects done.  He likes to be outdoors chillin in the backpack while I drink coffee and play in the dirt. Got this little birch log raised bed finished, ranunculas bulbs planted, and two giant truck loads of horse manure compost hauled, check and check. 
You know you might be going a little agro when you get two truckfulls of horseshit for mother's day, and you are actually excited about it.  It just feels so good to be putting roots down.

1 comment:

  1. Love love! Blaine calls himself the "Peep guy" so I love that Sadie is chicken mama! We had 19 peeps disappear overnight so up went our mortality rate lol.