Sunday, November 20, 2011 6 or 7 months..

We buy baby peeps on a regular basis. They come in the mail in boxes with holes in them, and most times things work out well. We get ducks, goslings, turkey polts, broiler peeps and today's shipment..laying hens.

We had ordered this batch to arrive the week after Thanksgiving, when things have calmed down for us. These arrived as people were here, the truck was being loaded for a turkey delivery..and the little things must stay warm or they will not survive.

Homer quickly built a brooder, installed two lights and the watering system and the peepers have a new home.

The birds are a variety of shapes and colors. Their eggs will be too. I love to assemble a box of eggs with an assortment of colors: different shades of brown (ranging from a pale tan to a deep chocolate brown), several shades of blue and green and of course white.

These variations in color only occur when we have different breeds of birds. While pullets (ready to lay hens) can be purchased for about $10 each, they are generally a breed that has been bred to lay eggs with a small amount of feed consumption. They have usually had their beaks clipped, which makes them at a real disadvantage here on the farm. It is easy to eat corn and the like, difficult to grab and break and eat a blade of grass without a top beak. Full beaks here!

We love the names: Ancona, Arucana..and the birds grow out to be beautiful.

Our experiment with making our own baby chicks was a fail. The roosters awoke at 3:45AM every day and proceeded to crow all day long. When the neighbors rooster answered the pre-dawn crow with a more distant sounding cock-a-doodle-do..Homer said "oh no, we are not having this".

And we don't. No roosters here, thanks. If we had more land maybe. But with the birds close to our home and just as importantly the neighbors homes..we will not be in the chicken making business.

The turkeys, ducks and they make their own, no problem. Quiet like. No middle of the night wake up calls. It appears that the cows have managed to make their own too, as the pigs will soon. But no roosters, puppies or kittens.

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