A bit about us...

We are a modern family of three, living on less than two acres with a 3,000 square foot garden that meets our produce needs and allows us to share with friends and neighbors. Our laying flock of chickens seems to expand each year as we raise chicks each Spring to replace older hens. This blog is more of a journal, if you will, for us to chronicle and share our experiences in the yard, garden and kitchen. It is our hope that along the way a few folks might learn something, be entertained, or simply enjoy sharing in our stories and the lessons we learn on a daily basis. I named the blog after the times when I am the happiest, when I am elbow deep in earth.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sometimes it's about what wasn't in the plan...

Yesterday was a bit of a bust as far as chores are concerned. I was really feeling my sinus infection and simply could not work in the cold air.  Today, on my new antibiotics (YAY!), I was able to be much more productive.  This morning, I was up early and working in the house.  Laundry, cleaning and other usual chores kept me busy till  just before noon.  Mom came up and we headed into town to get some supplies.  The bunnies needed litter, the chickens and cats were both in need of food.  So, off we went to fetch goodies for the critters.  A trip to TSC (Tractor Supply Company) is usually a simple in and out task. Not. So. Today.  I headed straight for the layer mash for my hens and right in my path, as if it were meant to be, were these silver tubs, ( I assume for feeding or watering a large animal such as a horse) with heat lamps suspended over them.  Then it hit me, the sound of fluffy sweetness...."cheep, cheep, cheep."  Baby chicks are in!  OH NO!

I am such a sucker.

So there I stand, completely smitten with these little peepers, thinking about all the things they require.  Special food dishes, water dishes, a heat lamp, a brooder enclosure, bedding, and chick food.  Wait.....I have all that.  All I need is the food.... I guess I should take some home then!  My flock isn't getting any younger and soon they will slack off laying and I may even lose a few.  These won't be laying till fall, so it will work out perfect.  Now here I am....proud mother to a half dozen new babies.  4 are pullets (guaranteed girls) of assorted red breeds, and 2 are of a straight run (gender not determined) of mixed laying breeds.  Oh my goodness are they ever cute.

After a brief scramble to dust off the equipment and set up their area... I headed out to the garden to attempt to cross off some of my very long to-do list for today.  I did manage to get some planting done.  I picked up celery, red cabbage, and brussels sprouts at the Milan mill today, so I got those planted as well as those healed potatoes from the other day (Yukon Gold), white cabbage, sweet onions, 3 rows of peas, broccoli, and cauliflower.  It got cold quickly, so I gave up without planting the remaining peas and onions, but I felt good about what I did accomplish.  I was worried that I wouldn't accomplish anything after deciding to get the chicks, but I did well.  I am already enjoying them so much, and now I will be assured that the layers I add to the flock are healthy, well cared for and well tempered.  There are always risks to the existing flock when you add birds raised by other people.  I am eliminating that risk by raising them myself.

This is the first time I have ever raised chicks, so I am excited to document their journey into adulthood and see what lessons there are to learn in the process!

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