The clocks have sprung forward, and the lengthening evenings tell us that spring is close. Melting snow and warmer days say the same, that is until temperatures plunge down again and we wonder – “is it really so?”!
All of us here on the farm are ready – Mom, Dad, Luke, and the flock alike. The humans dream of gardening, green grass, and performing farm chores without having to bundle up first. Luke and I long to get back out into our woods for longer walks. The older flock is happy with some bare ground where the yard has been plowed, but the guinea fowl have to be told they can’t wander into the road to find more things to peck at!
The new birds have yet to know that they will be moving to a new home in the coop once it gets warmer, and then they will also get to experience digging in the dirt and growing plants as well. For now, they are content to stay in the house where it’s warm all the time, and the sun streams through the windows!
Egg production is up, and we are now getting close to a dozen per day! Once the ice in the driveway melts and temperatures moderate a bit more, we’ll be able to open up our farmstand for egg sales once again. For now, I am selling them at my shop, and will to continue to do so even when we’re selling them from the farm. I’ve established some regular customers who come in to get the eggs, or always grab them when they are there browsing for a gift.
We hatched 6 more chicks just four weeks after our first two, Cleopatra and Toni (short for Antony, just in case “she” turns out to be a “he”!) arrived.
They are in cages side by side in our office. My “former” office, where I used to do bookkeeping, has now more become the farm office, where we raise chicks and plants until everyone and thing can move outdoors. A little bit of financial work is still done in there on the computer, but only for ourselves. I am happily no longer doing bookkeeping work for anyone but my own businesses and personal needs!
I’m also happy to say that Luke has been great with the birds! Mostly he just ignores them.
The other fun thing is that the office is right across from our bedroom, so I get to wake up to chirping and singing birds!
Remember I told you we got an air purifier in hopes it would keep down the dust? Birds make a crazy amount of dust, which was one reason we had been doing our hatches in the summer so they could go immediately into the coop. This year, however, we wanted an earlier hatch so we could have hens who would start laying by the end of the summer.
I’m happy to say the purifier is doing it’s job! At first, I didn’t think it was, but it turned out we only had it on the lowest setting. Since we’ve turned it up, there has been far less dust gathering.
Each Year is Different
Interesting photos popped up on my computer in my amazon photos memories one day: Wasn’t I surprised to see all the bare ground we had last year at this time! Luke and I were already walking in snow-free woods, and the birds were venturing much further out into the yard.
I will say, however, that according to my photos just several days after that the ground was once again snow covered. There were at least two decent sized storms in March, and another late April and even in early May! But it was at least not impossible to walk in the woods then. This year, deep snow with a hard but not-quite-hard-enough crust on top has made it quite difficult. While I could mostly stay on top with my snowshoes, poor Luke could take several steps on top of the snow but then suddenly plunge down deeper in. That can’t be good for his knees! We kept that trial walk short that day and luckily he’s been fine since. Several warmer days are bound to change those conditions, so we’ll be giving it another try very soon! It’s looking like at least some of our beaten paths might be safe to try.
Warm then cold again, spring is not truly here yet, so who knows what we’ll end up with? Sooner or later, we’ll be back out there though, and we can’t wait! Luke has been very well-behaved though, not acting up from the cabin fever we are all feeling. He’s been such a good boy!