Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Springtime is Happy Time

We are so happy it's finally spring! The hens are finally all laying, the incubator is fired up, the ducks are splashing! The chickens are happy that their coop finally gets opened for free-ranging, all that green grass and those bugs aren't going to eat themselves! (Note to self, never use that phrase again.)
Enjoying some free ranging!

The spring is when the financial pressure of owning farm animals starts to be alleviated, a little. A combination of finally having some eggs to sell to pay for feed, and having to buy less feed because the chickens are eating mainly bugs and plants. You might even profit enough to buy yourself a milkshake! Probably a small milkshake, but hey! It's a profit! This is positive thinking. Spring gives us positive thinking, and hope of a good year.

Sylvie enjoying the warm weather
One of our hens' first egg of the year!




None of my hens have gone broody yet. I have a game hen that probably will, a young Silkie, and I'm crossing my fingers on the red sexlink that raised chicks for us last year. I can't wait until someone sits! I love watching a mother hen lead her babies around to find food in the lush spring grass, or whoop up on a cat that chases them!

Boots and Rumpy, getting ready to lay in our cabinets-turned-nesting-box-holder. We often use cardboard boxes as nesting boxes to reduce garbage!


Ducks need to have at least enough water to cover their nostrils
when they drink .
The ducks are also enjoying the spring. Although they are not as bothered by winter's bitter weather as chickens, they finally can get into some nice non-frozen water and swim! Gone are the days of buckets that they can barely stick their head in, and the days of swimming have finally come! The ducks seem so disappointed when they are let out and hop into their spring-fed pool, only to find 5 inches of solid ice in place of their water. Even when the spring is dry, it is finally warm enough to hook up the water hose and have more than 9 gallons of water in their pool at a time! I've never seen such happy ducks as the first warm day we had!


Splash!

Chuck, checking out the Camera!




I think the happiest one about the nice weather is Nina, the farm Chihuahua. Nina follows me out when I take care of the chickens. I go out multiple times a day, meaning Nina goes out at well! In the winter, she gets bundled up in sweaters and coats because Chihuahuas get cold very easily, but in the spring, she doesn't have to get cold at all! Nina loves being able to lie out in the sun again, not on slippery ice and snow over her head!
Nina - the happiest member of the family

At the end of the day, the chickens roost as happy birds, the ducks waddle their way back to their pen to be kept safe for the night, and we all sit back and listen to the spring peepers singing in the nearby streams. Ah, spring, we love you so!

Grabbing the last few bites before heading up to the roost for the night.