Thursday, April 14, 2011

Baby Chicks - Again!

Last year, shortly after my heart surgery, I gave away (yes, gave away) all of our livestock. All the chickens, feeders, nesting boxes, lights, incubator and all the goats and their accessories. For those of you who have never had the mixed blessing of heart valve replacement, let me tell you in advance that it does strange things to your head and heart - not just in a physiological way. Anyway, I thought I wouldn't be able to care for them all properly, my husband was beginning to have his own heart issues so I just gave them all away to good homes.

Fast forward eight months. My heart surgery scars and new valve have healed. I feel wonderful - better than I have in years. My friends say I look more alive, more vibrant, ten years younger! It's spring! I can have a nice garden this year and I will have the health, energy and strength to plant and maintain it. So, much to my poor husband's amazement, I bought 8 baby chicks a couple of months ago. Six would have been enough, but I bought two extra "just in case". We had no problems or incidents with them at all, so "just in case" never happened and I now have eight beautiful young ladies, who I believe are Rhode Island Reds. Tractor Supply called the "red hens" and they should lay brown eggs.

Six, or rather eight, seemed like a good number. There are only the two of us. I am not planning to go into the egg business. These are eggs for our own personal supply, with maybe enough extra to put in the freezer. The goal is to be able to have nice, fresh, wholesome, healthy eggs and provide their food from here on our little farm, without buying feed. I used chick starter to get them going, but after that it has just been weeds from the garden and table scraps. They are thriving and happy.

My poor suffering husband has been busy in the last couple of days, building a chicken tractor that is big enough for the girls to be happy, and small enough for me to move around when the weather is nice. When it gets cold, the house will cozy up to my new kennel building, where I can just take 2-3 steps through my picket gate to care for them in the winter. I am pretty excited about this!

Watch over the next few days for pictures of the new chicken tractor!