There’s a rapid pace to farm life that seems to pick up speed during the transition from winter to spring. Preparations and planting of new garden rows as well as maintenance of winter rows begin. Taking advantage of the warmer days by cleaning cages and built-up coop floors. Between a few bugs, plain lethargy, and extreme busyness, I’ve neglected my blogs.
Since I last shared our farm animal news, Daphne and Phoebe have each given birth to seven kits, boosting our total rabbit population to 31. That includes Daddy Buck, Father of all 24 rabbits, including Chloe’s last (and incidentally, first) litter of 10, as well as Checkers, an old retired buck who, well, is just here. We have mated Chloe and Buck again, as Chloe’s 10 kits are completely weaned, getting fatter by the day, and about ready for new homes. We are going to be selling several of our various chicks and pullets, as well as our bunnies, come Good Friday.
I’m also excited to announce that we will be selling two products my Mama and I have been busy formulating and tweaking, as well, on Good Friday. If these items are well received at the farmer’s market, you may be able to purchase them online in the near future. Cross your fingers for us. As a lady with hard-worked hands, I can say I have reaped the benefits of being the co-creator of our all natural lotion sticks and chap sticks. I am giddy about our debut!
Our Leonardo, the prize winning Ameraucana-Maran Roo, took 2nd prize at the first ever Chicken Costume Contest, in that particular county, at least. My Dad likes to say that he couldn’t keep his pants on, because he was pinned in between two lovely brides (hens dressed as brides). I like to say he had a major wardrobe malfunction. Either way, I have a much simpler idea if Dad decides to enter another wild and zany chicken contest that requires the chickens to be dressed for success…this year, Leonardo went as a Mexican Cowboy from the Chicken House in La Grange…I’ll post his grand tale soon. Yes, Dad wrote a nine page handwritten story to go along with his prize roo. I even monogrammed his boots!!
Dad won several prizes for his eggs at the La Grange Poultry show, including best in show. We do have a lovely assortment of eggs, from whites, tans, browns, and greens, our girls pump out a nice stream of vitamin rich jewels for us to enjoy in so many different ways, from boiled to fried, to baked in a cake. What a joy to be able to enjoy such fruits of our labor!
Every so often, the tree trimmers drop off a load of mulch in our far field. Three days ago, they dropped off more than just mulch. Six newborn kittens were found mewing among the mulch, by my youngest son. My first instinct was not pretty. I really wanted him to just put them back and forget he ever found them and let nature take it’s course. But I always get this prick upon my heart when I harbor such thoughts. I know we are to be stewards of the earth and if my child is going to grow into a loving man, and potentially a husband and father, I could not in good conscience follow through with my initial thought.
We are now bottle feeding the screaming brat-pack, and I intend to find homes for them as soon as they can eat on their own! There are already three resident cats, two dogs, countless chickens, and quail, a pig and what was it, 31 bunnies? I think we have enough mouths to feed around here. Here’s to hoping for a short-lived kitten-stewardship! I never said I was perfect…or purrrfect for that matter!
More news on the farm is that our pair of Japanese or Sumatran Bantams are apparently a pair of flaming roos… Dad said, “It’s no wonder we could never find out where she was laying her eggs! Turns out, she’s a he!” We’ve recently separated another pair of bantams to find out which is the male and which is the female of that pair. One or both are laying eggs! Usually, spurs give away the sex of the chicken, even before their feathers fully develop. But until the spurs develop, it’s anyone’s guess…unless one wants to start counting wing feathers, that is. We don’t have that kind of time!
Our ducks have become free-rangers along with many of our pullets. The ducks have their own hut, but they prefer to retire with the rest of our chickens in the main coop. All three turned out to be daffy hens, so we look to add at least one male duck to the group before we’re done. We’ve added several more bantams and Ameracaunas to the mix, as well as 50 plus new Texas A&M quail. We’ve probably already got 20 adults, so the additions will allow us to retire some of the older quail to the freezer. They are quick growers and great egg producers, laying after only 6-8 weeks of age, and are also excellent eating…so I shall soon find out.
We finally got around to operating on and removing Mr. M’s Bumblefoot plugs. It was icky and Mr. M was an amazing patient. He’s recuperating in a cage out in the sunlight. This morning, Dad put him back on the ground, and I hope he doesn’t wind up having to fight his way back to the top of the cockerel-hierarchy. He was king and head-honcho, the position currently shared (?) between Leonardo and Mr. White. They are both just chicken enough that I don’t think Mr. M will need to put up too much of a fight to regain his position. We shall see in time.
And until NEXT time, this is the Crazy Chicken Lady, signing OFF!
Vaya con Dios