With the warm weather trying to break through, although today is dreary and cold, hubby and I began to work on our Spring projects. With this most likely being the last spring at this homestead before we purchase our dream acreage, I wanted to make sure we did everything we wanted to here this year.
We gathered our supplies to complete one of the two 12×6 raised planter beds. I used a combination of topsoil, sand, mushroom compost and Epsom salt. With some research, I decided this was the best soil concoction for growing vegetables and fruit. I have planned out what will go where in the raised beds and am looking forward to getting all of the seedlings outside and off my kitchen table.
With the upcoming arrival of Ladybug’s piglets, we didn’t anticipate getting any more animals at this homestead. However, the Spring chick fever got into my system and we ended up adding three more chicks and one pullet. We purchased a Welsummer chick, one gray cuckoo maran and one regular cuckoo maran. I am excited about the cuckoos as they lay darker brown eggs than we have now. We bought the Welsummer chick for my sweet neice, who is excited about her first chicken. She has named her Chippy Summer Jones. The chicks are only a few days old now and are doing well. They are currently residing in hubby’s man cave in the brooder box.
Chippy Summer Jones:
Gray Cuckoo Maran:
I also decided to add a Buff Orpington pullet to our flock. She is about 10 weeks old. She is as sweet as can be and loves to be held. I named her Solstice. I attempted to introduce her to Princess in her coop who relentlessly pecked at her. I guess she was grateful to have someone to pick on instead of always being the target herself. I put Princess back in the chunnel with the other girls and kept the new pullet in the mini-coop. After some time, I placed her in the big coop with the other chickens for several hours. It went decent, but at one point all the hens were standing around in a circle each taking turns pecking the crap out of the pullet. This granted her a pass to get the heck out of that coop. I have learned the hens are not accepting of anyone new so no other additions will be made to their private, and apparently very exclusive, flock. This means the chicks and the pullet will likely be separated from the other flock. My hens are such mean girls to outsiders!
Before the girls turned on her:
Since yesterday was so cold, I went down to check on everyone before night shift. Poor Solstice was in the way back of her coop shivering in the cold. I took her inside and made a chicken crate, complete with roosting sticks. She nestled down in the hay and was quiet the rest of the day. I think that she is missing her sisters and looking back, I should have probably brought one home so the transition wouldn’t be so stressful. I am waiting to hear back from the guy we purchased the chicks from about a dark chocolate egg layer so I may pick one of Solstice’s sisters in the near future.
The crops are growing more and more every day. The bean plants actually have tiny beans on them already. I hope the transition outside does not damage them. Since it is not consistently warm, they are growing very tall on the kitchen table. All of this back and forth cold weather is very hindering to our projects!
Until next time…