One very fun experience with this whole farming craziness is going to the Post Office to pick up a cardboard box that cheeps. I have had the pleasure of having little kids in line when I arrive. Getting to see the look of astonishment on their faces when I lift up the flap so they can see them is a hoot! Today was no different. The box was cheeping like crazy and the kids were thrilled.
We selected a mixed batch of chicks this time. They will eventually go in with our Buff Orpingtons and 3 roosters. Our goal is to begin managing our own flock and hatching our own chicks. We may still buy some meat birds to keep the freezer stocked, but these new ladies are considered heavy layers; heavy meaning they are larger birds and lay lots of eggs. Considering most of our eggs are fertile and we do have an incubator, we are going to embark on a system of making stew, stock and roasting birds, along with replenishing our layers as they age.
They are the cutest durn things. Our whole basement is cheeping. The little buggers are eating and drinking and look as healthy as can be. They will stay in our brooder until the first week of March when they will then join the rest of the crew outside.
It is also amazing to watch nature in action. Chickens need about 12 hours of daylight to keep them laying eggs. As we approached the winter solstice our egg production dropped to only a couple of eggs a day. After that time, the days get longer by 4 minutes per day. As this has happened over the past month, the number of eggs per day has begun increasing! Considering that eggs are REALLY meant to produce more chickens (not just giving us breakfast), it makes complete sense. Why lay eggs when the eggs and the chicks might freeze to death? I did some looking and this is why we have eggs and bunnies at Easter time. At Easter the eggs are in full production by then and the new baby rabbits also begin emerging from their burrows. The cycle of life! Too bad the religious nuts hijacked these celebrations. I wouldn’t have grown up wondering what the hell eggs and rabbits had to do with bleeding Jesus! Ha!
Here are the new ladies……