Thursday, December 5, 2013

field time!

We are catching up from turkey time. Work, emails and snail mail really pile up as we make the run for turkey day. 

One of the jobs that was completed today was emptying the brooder. We ordered baby chicks to become our laying hens next spring. The birds arrive as little balls of fluff, and need the warmth of the brooder until their big girl feathers grow in. 

The girls have reached the point where their feathers are full enough to keep them warm during the winter months. A few weeks ago their lights went off, as we began to condition them to the weather. 

Now they are large enough and strong enough for field pens. They are not babies anymore. More like adolescents. Larger but not full grown. More mature but not mature enough to lay eggs. It will be April of 2014 before that happens. 

These girls went into the roomy turkey pens. Over the winter Homer will build out 2 more egg layer pens, with roosts and egg boxes. For now, before we have turkeys again, these will do. 

Meanwhile, the flock we statrted last June is just starting to produce eggs. Every day we get eggs from them. Not a lot yet, but it will happen soon. Half the birds in that pen are the girls who lay blue/green eggs, and the other half are the Silver Lace Wyandottes, our anniversary hens. 

The dogs are doing a fantastic job protecting all the poultry. Here they are checking out the new girls. 

The dogs also protect the farm from passing walkers, runners and bicycle riders. Both Chaz and Jazmine run at full speed, hackles up...Chaz barks like crazy, Jazmine not as loudly. We are pretty certain our neighbors would prefer that the dogs expend their energy on real threats, not on folks just passing by. 

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