Friday, March 31, 2006

Day's end

I got the animal food (the critters were quite grateful), but didn't get any of the other stuff done. It rained pretty much all day, and we had some stuff to do in Cadillac (the local city), anyhow. We ended up dropping way too much money at Wal-Mart. We had to get Easter stuff, and some birthday stuff for our youngest son.

(Gabe was a planned c-section. His birthday is April 2, 2001. I wanted to schedule the surgery for April 1, but that idea was vetoed.)

While we were at the store, I bought some raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry plants. I also got a couple grape vines and a bunch of seeds. Now, I have even more stuff to do. I'm going to have to plant the fruit plants in the front pasture, and figure out a way to keep the deer from eating them. Little by little, we'll get an orchard and berry patch going there.

While we were getting some stuff at a feed/livestock (mostly horse) store, we noticed the peeping of baby chicks. TSC (Tractor Supply Company) isn't having chick days this year because of the bird flu paranoia, so it was a welcome sight. All they had were banties, though. Still, I was tempted. If we had a brooder set up and ready to go, we would probably have gotten some.

So... we came home and fed the critters. That little silkie hen is still trying to set some eggs. I really need to put her into a nice, secluded area and give her something to hatch. Maybe she would like to raise some little duckling babies. If I had already set up a secluded place for her, I would have put some chicks under her. Most broody (wanna be a mom) hens will adopt chicks if you do it right. Silkies are particularly ready to be moms.

Broody hens tend to be grouchy, by the way. Our little silkie isn't grouchy, but that's probably because she's a silkie. Regular breeds will peck the puddin out of you if you try to gather the eggs out from under them. They give you fair warning, though. Have you ever heard a hen growl?

A hen with her chicks is a real treat to watch. Chickens make really good mothers. They don't even care if you put someone else's eggs under them. In fact, you don't even have to get the species right. Hens routinely raise ducklings, pea chicks, pheasants, and other fowl. We put some guinea hen eggs under a white rock last year, and she raised them up just fine.

Today's gratuitous photo isn't really gratituitous because it actually pertains to the subject.


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