Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pullets, Cockerels and Spring

Last Thusday we made the pilgrimage to the Cackle hatchery in Lebanon for our chicks and they are now happy in the brooder in our basement. They are funny little creatures and though this is something Holly and Judy are in charge of, I admit I am enjoying having them around. The weather has been so warm it feels like summer (70s and 80s) and the grass is now green, the trees have leafed out, and we have birds, butterflys, snakes and insects everywhere...its a great time of year. We have been blessed with this great weather and have really taken advantage of it; we are outside from morning until dusk and have done some painting, harvested wild onions, planted, plowed, and every afternoon we take  break and play yard darts. And...if you havent tried it....we take time to just sit in quiet solitude and listen to the breeze and the wildlife on our farm...I highly recommend that. Particularly in spring, I like to sit in an Adirondak chair with my eyes closed and feel the sun and breeze on my face, hear the birds singing, the insects buzzing around, the ocasional moo of a cow or crowing of a rooster in the distance and smell the freshness, the honeysuckle, and newly cut grass. This usually develops into a 30 minute nap which I also highly recommend.

I must confess that at times I feel guilty or less than ambitious. I am in the last month of my job with the Sheriff's Dept and folks around here dont understand why I am giving up a good job like that, I have been offered fairly high paying positions (for around here) if I am willing to commute a long ways, and some would add that I have taken a fine education and wasted it by preferring to be down on the farm. But you know, I just dont care to be part of the rat race anymore and I dont miss the constant grind. I have tonnes to do here and if I get to them today or next week or next year it really doesnt matter in the grand scheme of things and the best advice I can give if your feeling less than fulfilled or happy is - S  L  O  W  D  O  W  N, stop doing what you dont enjoy, and dont look to others to validate your success or self worth. It sounds a lot easier than it is especially if your a type A+++ personality like me but I literally wake every day happy and looking forward to whatever happens...even if I dont know what will happen. Remember the days of inspections, deadlines, outside expectations, missed birthdays, holidays and family events because of work? Look back 5 years and do you really remember the details of any of that or just that you missed your anniversary or a birthday of a child? To heck with that stuff....I would rather spend my afternoon helping Holly make butter than attend some meeting about something I dont really care about....ahhh must be the spring air that stirs my slacker passion!!! Maybe Timothy Leary had something going  after all with his turn on, tune in, drop out mantra back in the mid 60s eh?

Question for the day: I have been reading a lot of Shakespear lately and in particular his personal history...does it strike anyone else that his writing doesnt match the man or his station in life? So little is known about him personally but he wasnt part of the upper crust so how did he know about the inner workings of royalty and the social elite in such intricate detail? Seriously, something doesnt add up...but then I'm just a small-time dirt farmer with a vivid imagination and a penchant for reading.

The Cackle hatchery is about 25 miles from our handy eh? They ship chicks all over the country and its amazing that they just ship them in the mail in cardboard boxes. We were happy to just go pick up our one day old chicks.

Judy's peach tree...all the fruit trees this spring are blooming like crazy. Last year almost all the blooms were wiped out as soon as they popped from the cold.

Yea...thats right, I like poetry and an issue with that?

Visions of a good fruit harvest danced in our heads...

And on about 15 March it was so hot the cattle waded into the mid pond to cool off..

We have 5 Forsythia bushes discovered so far....I remember Forsythia from being stationed in North Carolina all those years. The first sign of spring usually and such a burst of colour..

My beloved Holly and I have a track along the south fence line that goes behind the mid pond that we recently cleared so we dont get hung up in the tangle bush and brambles. We have another pasture to the right here that we still need to fence (and are in the process of fencing) so this little pond is quite secluded.

We decided to put the pullets and the cockerel in the basement since it doesnt have drafts and is safe and secure from predators.

They are so small and vulnerable

We have 5 Barred Rock's (black and white) and 5 Brown Leghorns with 1 Brown leghorn Rooster.

They seem to be happy ...Holly and Judy are happy....and....of course so am I.

So there you have it. We now have a couple dogs, a bunch (pride, gaggle, plethora, cornicopia, herd, myriad) of cats, 3 cows, and 11 chickens. Soon to come...goats, a couple ducks, and two pigs. Old Mac Donald will have nothing on us!!!


  1. Leghorns,great layers however they do have a wild nature. Mine seem to think I was the devil himself and go nuts whenever I get close. Raising poultry is easy and fun regardless.

  2. Oh my gosh
    You guys are hitting all the right spots to keep on homesteading. As the rat race keeps getting busier and being a type A personality also I can relate totally to where you are at. I am hoping for 2015 to leave the hamster wheel lifestyle. Please keep posting. You give me hope for a great future.

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words. 2015 is not so far off and that gives you time to plan....I wish you the best of luck and please understand that the dreaming and plannin g is extremely enjoyable.

  3. Hi, I love your site! I just stumbled across this and can so relate to your words of wisdom. Keep up the good work, and yes.. its great to stop and smell the roses. I am going to add you to follow your blog. It's awesome what you are doing... love it! Well done!