It’s been a while since I did a real farm post.
I thought I would share some pictures of the resident animals and a few shots of the human animals that reside at Cheshire Farm.
We moved the chicks out to the barn because they were getting too big to be in a cardboard brooder box in the dining room anymore.
We moved them out after Easter weekend. Easter weekend brought us a horrible snow storm late Sunday evening. Horrible in that we are all ready for spring and no one (except the 9 year old who lives here) was loving the snow.
The chicks seem to be acclimating well to life in the barn. We did kick the ducks out of their house to move the chicks outside. They are too little to be living directly with the hens and they still need a heat lamp to stay warm. So, the ducks have to make their way into the horse stall in the evenings and they are sleeping in there with Buttercup and Tulip. They have hay to lay on and their large roommates should keep them from getting eaten by nocturnal predators. The female ducks are laying their eggs in the stall and it’s actually been much better for their eggs. When they were laying in the duck house, the eggs were getting stepped on and were horribly dirty and we often just threw them out into the fields surrounding the pasture. But, now, they are clean and we are keeping more of them. They seem to be doing fine with the transition. They have been wandering around in our yard more than ever. They were seen wandering into the woods this morning, so I had to go corral them back into the pasture. Their big friends, horse and goat, can’t help them if they are wandering that far away.
The hens and the chicks do seem to be getting along. There’s the whole situation of “pecking order” being established. The white chickens, Pepper and Whistle, don’t seem to mind the babies as much as the red chickens. Pepper is pretty blind so she may have no idea who they are, let alone where they are. The red hens, George Washington and Genevieve, are in charge in the barn. George is the self-appointed Queen and runs the show. We have to watch that the large hens don’t peck TOO much on the chicks. Hens (even the sweetest ones in the flock) will literally peck to death chicks to establish boundaries.
As the weather has begun to slowly get warmer, our old gal hens are still laying eggs. We get 1-3 eggs a day from them. Hens will only lay for 4-5 years and I think our girls have been around for 4 years now. That’s why we added to the flock. The chicks should begin laying eggs probably in the early fall. Fingers crossed we didn’t get any roosters this time around. Or if we did, that he’s nicer than the last rooster we had.
Once the weather really stays warm we can give the horse a bath. She gets very dirty over the winter and the mud gets caked on in the spring. We don’t have hot water in the barn, so we wait until it’s consistently warm out to bathe her. For now, we brush her as best as can be done.
And Tulip the one-horned goat is due for hoof trimming. Man-Farmer’s favorite task…nope.
We are hoping spring will get here soon and stay here. Man-Farmer said it will probably be one of those years that goes right from winter to summer. It’s still chilly today and he thinks that one day it will hit 80 plus degrees and it will stay that way until late September.
We are leaving on our weeklong family vacation to Universal Studios when school gets out in May. We are big fans of Harry Potter and will be spending four days with him in Florida. And one day we will be basking in the sun on the Atlantic Ocean coast. Gigi is the only member of our foursome family who hasn’t seen that ocean yet, so we are going to get some sand in our toes and watch the waves. Something us people of the prairie don’t get to see on a daily basis.