“One day we will have a world where chickens can cross the road without anyone questioning their motives.” Unknown
2020 will be the year Holland Girl Farm begins to look and act more like a farm, or at least a homestead. This is the year I add livestock and a berry patch/grape arbor to our property.
I picked up six 3 day old baby chicks on Friday! They are so cute!!! Say hello to Sarah Jane Smith, Rose Tyler (Olive Eggers), Martha Jones, Clara Oswald (Sapphire Gems), Donna Noble, and Amy Pond (Cinnamon Queens) . Extra points if you know whom they are named after. Haha! I brought them home, put them in their brooder box and they are doing what chicks do best – eating, drinking and pooping. Oh yes, lots of pooping. Haha! Hubby isn’t thrilled, but I think we’ll win him over!
A friend came over this past weekend and helped me put my coop together. We got the basic frame, coop and run, together, and I got the roof on it today. A few pieces of trim and the nesting boxes are all I lack in having it ready to go! I hope it will be a good, safe home for them.
Sarah Jane is giving me some concern. She has been chirping loudly, while the others are peeping quietly and happily. Everything I’ve read says that’s usually a sign of distress. I’ve isolated her and watched her – she’s alert, eating right alongside all the others, and pooping. I haven’t seen her drinking, but I’m assuming she’s doing that as well. Just in case, I’ve given her a bit of water twice with a pipette. I don’t keep her alone, though, because I only have the one radiant heater and I want to make sure she doesn’t get cold. Today she seemed much more interested than yesterday. This evening, she looks a bit better. Her feathers are even a bit fluffier. I’ve made up some water with electrolytes and I’ll give some to her tomorrow if she still seems off.
UPDATE: Sarah Jane didn’t make it. Unfortunately I found her dead yesterday morning. I really thought she was doing better, and I still have no idea what could have been wrong with her. I guess that just happens sometimes.
I only have hens (I hope!) because I only want eggs. I’ll be selling my eggs once they start laying, and using them in my Good Food Dear Friends recipes. I won’t be able to free range them because we have predators in our area, but my husband is going to build a chicken tractor that I can put them in and move around from day to day to give them extra nutrients from insects and fresh greens, which will improve the nutritious value of the eggs, as well as their taste. If interested, let me know. Eggs will be coming around early to mid September!
I found a couple of books that have been particularity helpful. The information is contradictory in a few places, so you have to decide which to follow, but the wealth of information has been impressive. I have felt very comfortable bringing these new creatures home even though I have absolutely no experience raising birds of any kind.
One thing I haven’t been able to find is any kind of timeline for milestones and events based on the chicks’ eggs. The resources I’ve read give this information in the paragraphs within the text, but now it would be more convenient if I had a list or chart summarizing these milestones. I’ve looked all over the web and haven’t been able to find what I need, so I decided to create one myself. This is available to you as a free resource, in case I’ve inspired you to become a chick mama.
Other than the chicks, life on our Homestead Sweet Homestead has been very quiet. My teas are selling at Traditional Arts Today in Ferdinand, IN. (yay!!) I’m setting up to do a tea blending class/tea party there in the months ahead – I’ll be sure to let you know when once it is scheduled. The basement kitchen remodel is progressing s…l…o..w…l…y! But it will happen one day, and then I can get back to baking and making my gluten and dairy free sweets and treats!
In the meantime, find something you really want to do and find a way to bring it into your life. That’s what I did with my chicks. It doesn’t have to be living animals – what is it you’d really like to do? Ponder that question, and a way to make it happen, as you enjoy good food with some dear friends.
Until next time…