This is not Luna's lunchbox.
|"Mmmm. Smells good!"|
|Didn't you know that chicks come in 6-packs?|
How could we resist? They were on sale!
|"Hey! I called window seat. Push over!"|
Chicks normally cost $2-$4. These chicks are "big" (i.e. a week old and costing the store too much to feed them), so they were on sale for $1 each.
|It's been a long time since we've had chicks.|
The Minervas are four years old now (!!!) and we lost some a few months ago to egg-boundedness when some hens who hadn't laid much during winter started producing eggs but were unable to expel them. Egg-binding isn't easy to treat, and we euthed a hen whenever one was obviously not going to recover.
(No, we didn't eat them. We gave each a "flying burial" into Sherman's Marsh at the bottom of the property, where I'm sure something ate them, but it wasn't us)
The survivors (we still have 5 Minerva Louises, including Twelve) are the hens who kept laying through the winter, and they are each still producing 4-5 eggs per week. Four of them live in a chicken tractor--a portable pen that we push around the yard so they are constantly on fresh grass and can eat up greens and bugs and worms and stuff. Chicken Twelve runs around free, outwitting the elements and the predators because she is just too weird to die.
Still, they are clearly perimenopausal, and it's time to start raising up their replacements.
|Meet Eleanor Sackville-Baggins. |
All the Cheeps have the same name, because
we can't tell them apart.
Since we only have one teen at home now, and she and her appetite will be off to college soon enough, we decided to get a smaller batch this time.
|Six Rhode Island Red pullets|
We hope they are pullets. Roosters will be euthed and eaten, I have no need nor patience for roosters!
A Rubbermaid box will house them for the first week or two.
|The box is inside the henhouse, which is inside the fenced garden,|
which is inside the fenced yard. It's as safe as we can make it.
When they outgrow the box, they will live in the Winter Palace for another month or two.
|The Winter Palace is spacious, but protected from hawks and weasels|
But we're not thinking about that season today.
|Blue sky over the Winter Palace|
Because today is sunny and warm.
And tomorrow: we ride!