March 4, 2015 Farm News

Looking out over the garden from the usual vantage point and it is getting pretty monotonous week after week with little change except for the contours getting smoother as more snow accumulates

Looking out over the garden from the usual vantage point and it is getting pretty monotonous week after week with little change except for the contours getting smoother as more snow accumulates

The harmonious hen house from inside

The harmonious hen house from inside

Waiting patiently for breakfast but the sun is warm

Waiting patiently for breakfast but the sun is warm

Definite improvement in weather though only in the temperature department and the improvement has not been great so far.  But at least the temperature finally made it briefly and slightly above freezing Tuesday night.  The “great storm” of Tuesday was somewhat less of a problem for us as we got the vehicles to the end of the lane at the road before the lane became impassable and the cleanout of he lane is going to be much easier.  I am writing this Tuesday evening late and Wednesday morning so We have not yet tackled this latest laneway plugging snowfall.  I was able to make my Tuesday egg delivery rounds this week even though I was out at the height of the storm, late in the afternoon.  I was pleasantly surprised and very pleased that the pickup truck handled very well on the snowy roads, even on up hill grades with no snow tires and only two wheel drive.  Two back ones too though there was about 300 pounds of concrete tile in the back, over those two wheels, to aid traction.

Maybe in about a month we will start to see a green haze appearing over the crown of the tree as buds swell in spring's warm sun

Maybe in about a month we will start to see a green haze appearing over the crown of the tree as buds swell in spring’s warm sun

We have ordered more chickens from Frey’s hatchery in St. Jacob’s through Sinden’s Feed store in Burford.  There are two separate orders.  If our order is confirmed then we will get 60 Barred Rock pullets, ready to lay(about 21 weeks old), on March 24 and on either April 7 or April 21 (some confusion over which date) we will get 40 started Rhode Island Reds, pullets, 7 weeks old I believe, which means we’ll have to keep them another 14 weeks approximately before they lay eggs.  In practice the flock will not be laying at a good rate (32 eggs a day from 40 birds) until they are about 24 weeks old and still at that age they will be laying pullet eggs which are small to medium sized.  Does mean more eggs though. We have to do some careful planning to find enough area to have them pastured and we need to be able to rotate them about, 4 weeks here, four weeks another spot and so on until they are back to the first area again.  The amount of time off an area  will be determined by how fast the grass recovers after a trashing by a flock of voracious chickens.

The cold comfort of a dog's life.

The cold comfort of a dog’s life.

Soon too we will be able to get the chicken and ducks outside.  They will all be very excited about that.  Even more excited when they can find some grass again, a place to scratch and scratch. We’ll also be setting eggs from our special birds and we will be using the Silkies as our setters, our little incubators and that requires a fair bit of work constructing their housing.  An individual little brood house and grassed yard for each setting hen. We be the excited ones if it all works and a bunch of little chicks are hatched.

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One Response to March 4, 2015 Farm News

  1. Robert Feagan says:

    always love to see the photos — can’t figure out how a little chicken lives through such cold temperatures — those feathers are obviously warmer than I imagine!

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