Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lavender fields

Today I stopped at a lavender farm for some supplies for my newest venture, soap-making.  The girls and I decided to make a little adventure out of it.  The scent of lavender hit us when we opened the truck's doors and the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New chicks!

I ordered our newest batch of chicks in February, but just took delivery of them last week.  I wanted to receive them when it was warm out, I've done the chicks-in-a-bin-on-the-dinner-table in early spring too many times to count, and it gets old (and stinky) fast waiting for the weather to get nice!  The last time we ordered them, I had to drive to the big city 90 miles away because our post office isn't open on Saturdays and I didn't want the chicks to die while waiting until Monday.  Of course, last week had Independence Day, so I was ready for the call from the post office to make the long drive.  Luckily. the hatchery didn't ship them out until Tuesday, so we only had to drive down the hill to fetch them.

It was a noisy trip home, but that didn't prevent the baby from falling asleep and the big girls were about to burst with excitement until they could open the big box.  They kept sticking their fingers in the holes trying to pet the babies.

I had food, water, and bedding ready, so they went in their new bin immediately.  Or at least after the girls got to hold each and every one of them!

Since it's been so warm, I haven't needed to use a heat lamp.   I did notice them huddled together sleeping, so I put a blanket over the bin to keep the heat in (and the cat out!).  Keeping the kids out is a whole other issue...every time it gets quiet in the house, I go to the chicken bin and there are 3 little girls perched there, petting them.

I ordered 25: 10 will be broilers and the rest will be egg-layers to replace our layers we have now, since they are starting to drop off in production.  I ordered Delawares, Rhode Island Reds and Araucana's (the Easter-egg chicken). 

Right now we have Buff Orpingtons, 
one White Brahma and a White-crested Black Polish rooster named appropriately "Funky Brooster". 

By the time the new ones start to lay (in about 5 months) the current layers will only lay sporadically.  One of the disadvantages of letting them free-range is that we seem lose a few to the hawks and coyotes, so it works for us to always keep fresh chicks coming in.

We received our free 'mystery chick' too, guess we'll have to wait until it grows up to identify what breed it is.