The pullets have been moved out to the chicken tractor, which gets moved around our yard everyday to get fresh grass. These chickens will be our new layers. Our old layers, 5 of them left now, could use some support in the laying department. A fox took all of last year’s pullets, so we are making sure these little girls don’t wander free until they are absolutely full grown. Last year the fox stole the pullets when Missy was tied up. The full grown hens ran to Missy’s protection, but the little ones didn’t.
So now these new chicks (now pullets) have outgrown their brooder in the barn, they get to hang out in the chicken tractor where our meat birds usually fatten up. Our meat chicks haven’t arrived yet this year.
The avian flu is becoming a big issue in our area. The large turkey factories near us have it, which is very deadly to their birds. USDA inspectors came by our place a few days ago to test our flock. They were going from farm to farm, checking for backyard poultry. We were told we will only hear from them again if they get a positive test, and we haven’t heard. I’m not worried. I am eager for these girls to start laying. I’m sick of buying eggs. 5 old hens don’t provide nearly enough for our family.
At any rate, this avian flu outbreak has gotten so bad that all poultry shows are cancelled for the season, including the county fair poultry judging which was a really big deal for my kids. We pushed to order these chicks as early as possible so they would be fair ready. The county fair is extending the entry deadlines to poultry families to decide to add different animals instead. Honestly, I didn’t even know we were near a deadline, so that’s how out of the loop I am. I really should look into that this week. I’m not sure about bringing a different kind of animal, though.
I’m thrilled that some spring blossoms are showing up. Part of me is excited to see them again, but another part of me feels so behind. Everywhere I see beautiful gardens, and I only see work in mine. We’ve had days of much needed rain, and I’m sure I’ll catch up soon. Thankfully, there are blossoms like these that just keep coming back without any of my tending. They are just pure grace.
The lily of the valley patch behind the house got a little windblown in the storms, but I see that blossoms are coming despite that too. The temperature dropped around here that I have been watching some of the flowers. My tulips seem to be taking ages to bloom. I feel like I’ve been staring at their leaves for weeks now, and still not even a bud.
Since I have a history of killing plants (which is a terrible trait for a farmer’s wife) I worry I have somehow stunted the tulips as well, which is entirely possible. Their patch of garden is the worst right now. I’m prioritizing the vegetable garden first, and the front flowerbed is just awful.
It is good to know, that despite my black thumb, even that is not strong enough to stunt spring. It’s reassuring to know that spring will come whether or not I’m ready for it. Because even though my back cannot always keep up with the work, my heart is happy to see life springing up all around without me.