Don’t let the late cold fool you, spring really is right around the corner! It’s there, I can hear it! Oh wait, no, that’s the sound of a box of baby chickens shrieking at each other….
Yes our replacement hens are here. We got a box of day old baby Buff Orpingtons to replace the Wyandottes who got eaten by owls. It’s Owl Hill Farm for a reason, y’all. Fortunately, we’ve also built them a much, much better enclosure so we should see significantly less predation from here out. The remaining girls are laying AA Jumbo eggs as hard as they can lay them, there just aren’t that many of them left. Currently, the available egg supply is going to family and friends. Once the supply increases then fresh, free range (mostly- they go wherever they want during the day and get locked up at night because owls) AA Ex large and Jumbo eggs will be their usual $4/dozen.
Constant noise aside, baby chickens are probably the second most adorable thing on the planet. Baby goats are the most adorable.
Behold, the single most powerful defense mechanism of any animal: adorable babies!
Aren’t they precious? Current count is 4 doelings and 5 bucklings. We’re still waiting on two does but they were bred a couple of weeks behind the others. So far everyone is healthy and active.
2 of the bucklings are a dairy/meat hybrid out of a very docile, friendly doe and may prove desirable pack animals for people in that particular market. Every kid is handled regularly from birth, but I do not bottle feed. I will not be disbudding them, but I will wether them unless someone wants them as bucks. I ask $100 per animal no matter what you’re planning to do with it. They cost the same to raise up whether they’re going to the freezer or harness training. It is possible that I will have a doeling for sale later. I only have room for a dozen adult does until we get the next pasture enclosed. While some of my original stock is either registered or from registered herds, my animals are not registered. Saves me (and you) a lot of money since those papers are not cheap. I wouldn’t sell an animal as potential breeding stock if it isn’t the same quality that I would keep myself. I select for rapid growth, easy kidding and good maternal qualities, and parasite resistance. I will not make any decisions about breeding or not breeding quality until all kids are at least 16 weeks old. If you are interested in a breeding quality animal, please let me know ASAP as they will require different management.
And remember that Owl Hill Farm does not (currently) sell meat- only live animals. We are happy to direct you to a local custom slaughter shop that comes very highly recommended and also sends back a lot of the ‘waste’ like skins (which I tan) and bones (which have many uses) and any organs that you don’t want (which often go to supplement the dog’s food) so most of each animal gets used appropriately. We’re big on not wasting.
I’ve also got a ton of seeds started. OK maybe not a literal ton but certainly there will be plenty of extra seedlings for sale in time for April planting. The local stores that already have warm weather starts out are just asking people to throw away their money. The last spring frost date here is April 10th. Most things can’t be planted until then, so there’s just no point in forcing seeds to sprout in January. I’ll have Celebrity, Cherokee Purple, and Giallo De Summer Tomato seedlings in time for main season planting. I’ve also started an excess of Savoy cabbage seeds that are sprouting at a fantastic rate, as well as a few extra California Wonder sweet bell peppers. I don’t normally start squashes early- we get enough for our freezer with normal direct sowing- but I do have some room left if anyone speaks up VERY SOON to have me start some zuchinni, yellow crookneck, or white pattypan squashes for them.
I still have baby spider plants (and the mother plants are making more…) as well as pothos, wandering jew, and winter cactus babies in adorable little cups that can be recycled when they are outgrown.
All started plants are $3 each or 2 for $5.
It is beginning!