Monday is Here & Chicks Are On The Way

Our newest farm members- Barred Rock and Easter Egger Chicks

Our newest farm members- Barred Rock and Easter Egger Chicks

The quiet pastures and dormant trees passed along as our old truck headed down Highway 19.  The winter landscape is a lonesome one, I miss the green fields and wild flowers along the road.  Tony and I made the trip to Palestine this morning to pick up a load of vintage and antique doors.  A peaceful quietness filled the cab as I sat in the middle next to Tony.  That is one reason I like his old truck- it has a bench seat and I get to set next to him like we were in college.  I had brought along my computer and phone so that I could do some work along the way, but that didn’t happen.  I just enjoyed being next to him and listening as he sang along with the radio.

So, my Monday began.  Not a bad start.  I did get work done once we arrived back home and checked several items off of my week’s very long to do list.  The chicken chores were rather simple, the birds have been let out early for the past several days and they have not spent nearly so much time in their coop making messes.  Eggs are still flowing, we average 18 per day.  That is without any extra light.  Chickens are sensitive to the length of day and will only lay at the top rate when they are getting 12 or more hours of light per day.  You can supplement this light during the winter and keep the egg laying up.  I do this when needed, but right now there is no need.  There are also 3 dozen eggs in the incubator that should hatch on Christmas Day.  Which means, that this weekend I will need to take them out of the egg turner on Saturday.  You remove the eggs from the automatic egg turner so that the chicks can get into hatching position.  You can imagine how hard this would be if the eggs were continually moving back and forth.  However, I know from past experience that the chicks can do it.  Once I lost track of the days and didn’t realize it was time until I heard chirping  from the incubator.115

A few weeks back, we provided a petting zoo for the Sulphur Springs Chamber of Commerce, they host a huge Christmas in the Park event next to their courthouse.  It was great fun and we purchased 12 day old chicks to take there.  Those chicks all survived all the love one could imagine and are doing great.  A big red hen kept getting into the brooder house and I would promptly run her out thinking she might be mean to the chicks and eat all their food.  Well, she does eat their food.  But being mean is not her mission- unless you threaten her adopted chicks.  The evening I went out there and found her in the corner nestled down with chicks tucked up under her was the last time I gave her harming them any thought.  The Red Hen eating their chick mash is a small price to pay for such a good mother hen to take care of them.  This evening I saw our cat looking longingly through the door and I thought that being a smart cat he would not choose to take that hen on.  I was right, she puffed up at him and he trotted on his way.

Dinner was simple, just a vegetable beef soup with garlic toast.  We still haven’t quite recovered from our feasting over the weekend.  I would think that Tony’s sweet-tooth would have been satisfied, but that would be a stupid thought.  His sweet-tooth is never satisfied.  Sierra takes after him.  He wanted something sweet tonight so I made a pound cake.  I love pound cakes, this one was made with sour cream and lemon extract.  Pound cake is an easy cake to do, very straight forward.  I only ate a small piece, my sweet-tooth is not nearly so large as Tony’s.  Sierra took after him, she once went on a streak of sneaking sugar into her room and eating it with a spoon.  That has been stopped, but I still check her drawers ever so often.

Christmas Break is nice, the kids are doing their own thing and I am planning for next semester.  Tuesday is almost here and I look forward to another day.

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