Spring Chicks

I THOUGHT spring was coming last week.

It was warm and sunny.  I propped the back door open so the cats could go in and out as they pleased.

Then, yesterday…ACK!  It was so cold!

The sun was a no-show.  It was drizzly and my bones felt wet all day.

My kids came home from school and were very crabby.  Which made me crabby.

I was ready Mother Nature!  Come on!!

I was ready for sun rays warming my body and I was ready to see more of this…

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I was so ready that I took my kids to the farm store bright and early Saturday in search of baby chicks.

We currently have four chickens in the barn.

We began with 8 chickens 4 years ago…I think.  Was it 4 years ago?  I have no concept of time anymore.  I often forget my own age.

Our chickens don’t lay many eggs anymore.  When chickens are new and just begin to lay, you will find yourself knee deep in eggs in your kitchen.

You will make omelets, frittatas, meringues, hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise, egg sandwiches, eggs for the dog, caesar salad dressing, hard boiled eggs until you start to turn the color of a farm fresh yolk.

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Since our hens are older and they don’t lay eggs as often as they used to, we need to increase future production and so we bought 8 new chickens.  But, in the form of 8 super fuzzy chicks.  Who will grow into full sized hens by summer and who will, hopefully, be laying eggs by the end of August.

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Gigi did a new count of all of the furry and feathered (including the two hermit crabs who live in their tank in our living room) animals on our property.  She came up with 30 animals.  Which is why my house feels like…

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I do lots of reading about chickens and other farm animals to make sure I’m doing the best that I can for these creatures that I have brought into my family’s life.  When these 8 chicks get big enough to live outside (they are currently in a box in our kitchen) and the weather is warm enough at night not to kill them, we will need to gradually introduce them to our current flock of girls.  My research has found that even the nicest hens that you have will become territorial when new chickens arrive.  There is indeed a pecking order amongst chickens.  Someone is always top bird and someone is always on the bottom of the list.  When new chickens are brought into the mix, the pecking order has to be reestablished.  And your current hens (even the sweetest hen in the coop) can peck and attack and kill newcomers.  So, a gradual introduction must be adhered to.  Which will involve separate wire enclosures and lots of babysitting.  I worry that George Washington the hen will be the most trouble because she’s the top hen right now and isn’t afraid of making herself known.

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It’s going to be a busy spring with these new additions.  Trying to prevent fowl play (you see what I did there, right?) and keeping the peace in the barnyard.

I’ll have to remind the horse, Buttercup, that she needs to watch where she’s walking and to not step on any chickens.  She tends to get excited when she’s running at top speed to get into the pasture to gorge on green grass that she hasn’t had in her belly since last year.  Usually everyone with feathers manages to fly out of the way in time.

The weather app on my phone says it’s going to be cold this week.  Maybe a wintry mix on Friday.  Not Nor’easter cold, but too cold for my liking.

At this time of the year, I am in dire need of outdoor time.  When it’s too cold outside I tend to hunker down inside.  And I get a strong desire to pack it all up and move to the desert southwest.

Last summer our air conditioner went kaput for a time.  I didn’t mind.  I didn’t mind the heat and the sweat and the never ending glasses of iced tea, the extra swim time in the backyard pool, or the lounging around in tank tops and shorts.  It beats being cold in my book.

 

 

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