New chickens

We can now add spring chickens to our list of the signs of spring. We have 70 chicks under a heat lamp now. That’s up from 25 last year. There’s one breed that’s the same, and a couple that are different.

Some things that I’ve noticed this year:

Seventy chicks in a box are noisier than twenty-five chicks in a box. The ride home from the post office was … chirpier.

Seventy chicks are a lot crazier, when they’re out of the box. It’s kind of like kids… when there’s one or two, they’re usually pretty calm. But the more kids you put in the same room, the louder and crazier they get. The chicks moved around a lot more. They seemed to have fun running up the hills that lead to their water.

It’s a bit amusing to watch seventy chicks all stand up straight and turn their heads at the exact same instant when your toddler drops a loud something in the other corner of the room.

This morning, it was peaceful and calm watching the chicks all cuddled up with each other, sleeping. I’m glad their party wound down eventually last night, and they got some rest.

Signs of spring

Last week I saw my first grain truck.  This week, the crocuses are in bloom.  And best of all, we have seedlings out in the seed starting greenhouse.

Onions and cabbage are up,  broccoli and a few greens are next.  I’m building a raised bed for the greenhouse and am going to try putting a few tomatoes in there.  This is the first year I’ve used soil blocks.  So far, so good, except that I made the mix too wet and they take a good bit of extra squeezing to get the water out of them.  “Mud blocks” is more like it.

70 new chicks will be arriving in a few weeks, and so we’re scrambling to get their housing ready.  Last year’s layers seem positively geriatric by now, but they are starting to lay a bit better again now that the days are lengthening.  We’re still talking about beef cows as another form of revenue and as an excellent addition to our fertility program.  So far it’s just talk…