Saturday, April 22, 2017

AFTER EASTER CATCHUP - FARM NEW CHICKS & FINISHED AFGHAN

Easter just came and went, SWOOSH!!! Tradition for us, is we always go to our favorite campground, Sycamore Ranch which is only about 30 minutes away.  Family, friends, even people without trailers are always welcome to come.  The grand kids and Celli were here at the farm the week before with their trailer already here.
 So on Thursday, we both took off to the campground.
 Frank really didn't want to go as the forecast was rain, nice, rain, cloudy, rain for the 4 days.  But Celli is a trooper and always optimistic.  She was right, the weather wasn't all that bad; we had just a fabulous time; and the campground was almost deserted -people thinking like Frank.

We were fortunate to be able to camp right next to each other and right next to a river.  
The spot also is large so the grand kids Carli and Collin can ride their electric scooters around and around and not bother other campers.  On Saturday, some friends of Celli & Chris' came with their kids that go to their same school.  


They brought fabulous lunch fixings, combined with ours.  What lovely Saturday in the sun watching the kids go around and around on the scooters.  
This one picture of both kids on scooter is last year for Easter.  What a difference this year, they are really growing!
Here is Bella, Gunnar, Lola & Annie
Back at Windmill Farm when we got back.
I have had these 2 hens sitting and sitting on a nest, they call it brooding.  Last year, I purchased 10 baby chicks, put them under the brooding hens and they both raised the chicks together.  Lovely if you can get the Moms to take care of the chicks.  So I did the same thing this year, I waited until we got back so I could monitor how things would go.  Chicks are really fragile especially with this crazy weather, cold, hot, rain, wind, blah blah-(will it ever end???)
So I waited until night time, brought 10 new Buff Orpington chicks and my flashlight to the hen house. 1/2 went under one hen, the other 1/2 under the other.  Well instead of delightful cooing from the hens, one kept pecking at the little ones. So I put what she didn't want under the other hen.  That hen didn't make any of those delightful sounds plus she had a very horrible look on her face. I was worried I had made a mistake.
During the night, I kept going back into henhouse to check on things.  4 chicks were off in a corner, cold, abandoned.  Guess that hen didn't believe those 4 I gave her belonged to her.  So I spent the next hour, at 2:00am setting up a heat light, a warm and cozy container; water; feed. My last check was at 3:30am on the remaining 6 under hen #2 and went to sleep.
The next morning, my 4 in their container were fine.  Inside the henhouse was a different story.  My heart broke.  4 little chicks were huttled together around the food container, all alone, no mother hen.  After looking carefully, 1 chick was limp in one corner covered in bed shavings; the last one was in another corner, limp.  It broke my heart.  Chickens are horrid when it comes to chicks, they do not have normal mothering instincts unless they are in the brooding mood. So I am sure, this mother hen got up and left those little guys alone in the henhouse at dawn didn't really buy it that those hatched under her; I wasn't fooling her one bit.  And the other chickens just picked on those little guys left all alone with no mother hen to protect them.
I brought them all into my heat lamp new pen; and put a blanket around the 2 that were the worst.  I assumed were dead or dying. One was peeping softly, the other -well, she just didn't make it.  Boo hoo.  I worked with the peeping one, got her little cold body next to the heat lamp and rubbed it with a soft blanket for about 30 minutes and then put her in with the rest of her sisters.  Nature will just have to decide whether she was going to live or die.  Her head just drooped and she wouldn't opening her eyes.  I checked on her all day without any changes.  The next morning, I figured she probably had not made it.  But I counted 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9!!!  All running around eating and drinking.  What is that?  Where is the dead one?  I couldn't even tell which one she was of the 9.  I think I was able to get help to her in enough time that she didn't die from the cold; and she was so stressed from being picked on and pecked, she was exhausted.  I still feel bad I did loose the one little guy, but at least the 2nd one has survived!
I finished my afghan project which was started a month or so ago. It came about because I wanted to use up some yarns and I had an excess of aqua and white yarns. I knew I had plenty so I kept making squares and more squares.  
When I put it together, it was too small, so I had to go buy yarn!!!  I made more squares, added it to the small afghan and still too small.  Back to Joann's store for more yarn, but this time it was enough and it is finished. I even had enough to do the scalloped trim and you can see a bit of the aqua and a whole white skein is left.

Guess it was a fruitless effort to get rid of excess yarn.
How was your Easter, did you have fun with family and friends?  Come back to my next post, I will share some bouquets, arrangements and boutonneirs with you I just finished for a small, local wedding.  The wedding is today so I don't want to show the flowers until they post their own wedding pictures and spoil anything for my clients.
See you next time and I will also show you how the chicks will have grown.

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