Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The chicks and the chickens and the garden

My losses with this year's chicks are quite high.  The hatchery is going to replace the first 10 that died.  I'm not sure what the deal is.  Nothing is different from last year that I know of, but I dread going out to the brooder and seeing yet another dead chick.  I know, it is "just a chick," but my heart is sad when I find yet another.  They are such cheerful, busy little things, and then, so soon, they are gone.

As for the chickens, my 10 laying hens and Buster The Rooster, they are driving me pretty nuts.  The hens are laying eggs just about anywhere but in their nests.  I am getting somewhere between zero and two eggs per day.  Sunday I found 13 eggs in a flower bed that I was cleaning out.  Who knows where they are laying now?  My friend Misty informs me that as soon as you find the nest and remove the eggs, they don't go back there again, so it isn't like I can hunt eggs here and there and find them all.  It is a mystery where the eggs are going since I found the nests in the flower bed.

It is not that they are going broody, that they are collecting eggs so that they can set and hatch, or at least I don't think so.  I guess one of these days, if a hen suddenly doesn't show up for three weeks, she may just show up with a bunch of kids in tow.  But it is unlikely, since Campines rarely go broody.  It makes you understand why this is a very rare breed. 

On another and more cheerful note, I am now finally harvesting in my garden.  Sugar snap peas are coming in, and lettuce is still doing well.  We are going to set out more lettuce today.  I wish I had planted more turnips.  They are delightful!  I must remember to do a full row of them next year.  Androo will be here to weed and plant today.  Since thunderstorms are predicted, I can only hope that we can get some time in before they hit.  There are plenty of things to do in the soap room if the storms reach us, but we really need to get more planting and weeding done today.

There is never a dull moment on a farm.

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