FirstHatched

First chick to hatch, about 1:00 pm on Saturday. Not quite dried yet.

Well, the big news this week is that of the 36 eggs I had in my incubator (from my own chickens) 27 of them hatched. I wrote a post about baby chicks last year, so I won’t go into great detail on how it all works. But I started the eggs warming on March 12th, and by March 30th (two days early, which means my incubator was running a bit warm – even with two new thermometers to monitor the temp.) the first chick had hatched. By the morning of April 2nd, the last one was out of the shell.

2012Chicks

Stock tank as brooder. It will work for a week or two, until they get bigger and need more room.

MalcolmIncubator

Malcolm, waiting patiently for the eggs to hatch. I think he just likes the hum of the incubator. I've never had a problem with my cats getting into my chicks.

All in all, a big success. I would like to add about 10 additional laying hens to my flock. The others will either become replacement roosters (I like to keep a few around), get sold on Craigslist, or end up in the freezer for the best chicken and dumplings ever. I’ll also try to trade at least one of my roosters for another, as I want to do this every year and don’t want Daughters mating with Daddy.

A few people have asked me what Spot, the lone chick from last year’s incubation attempt, looks like today. His picture is below. He’s a pretty boy…but I’m not sure he’s ever really been all there. Though I saw a barred rock rooster on a friends place the other day, and it was about the same. Kind of gulumpy, the way they move.

Spot2012

Spot, April 2012.

In other news, I’ve gotten a lot of the first cool weather crops planted out. Peas, spinach, lettuce, mustard family (mustard, pac choi, kale, arugula, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi), and a few of the parsley family herbs (parsley, dill, cilantro). We’ve had a nice pattern of rain with a few warm sunny days a week, which means I haven’t had to water much of anything in the garden.

I got to take a field trip to a farm with lots of Boer Goats about a week ago, and the kids were sure cute (and hard to photograph. They pretty much don’t hold still unless they are sleeping).

VickiGoatBabies

The fruit trees are starting to pop. The plum was about a week before the peach, and the pear is still thinking about it.

PlumWeepBloom
PlumInBloom
PlumBloosomDrop
PeachBud

BluesSunset

All of this rain, then sun, then rain, then sun makes for some interesting skies. Sunset, looking southeast towards the Blues.

Miles Away Farm Blog © 2012, where we’re miles away from being ready for the 15 ducks and 3 turkeys that will be arriving around April 25th, but we HAVE bought our requisite box of marshmallow peeps for the year. You know you can roast them like a regular marshmallow, right on your gas range, right? The sugar coating caramelizes. I highly recommend it.

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