Yes, you guessed it...
I was (and still am) an only child.
I learned very early to be happy with my own company...
so, solitary farm life works ok for me.
Rebecca: "I would like to know more about your chickens. How many do you have?
How long do they live? Can you tell them all apart? How many eggs a day do you get?
Do they lay eggs all year long?
Currently, we have about 100 hens free-ranging in our pastures.
Each chicken belongs to one of three henhouses and returns to that henhouse nightly to roost.
Each henhouse has a waterer (heated in the winter), a food dispenser,
and a heat lamp for warmth and extra light in the winter.
Each henhouse has two roosters. All of my "extra" roosters live closer to our home...
far away from the hens in a "bachelor pad" and free range around our house...
our morning alarm clocks!
In early April, 40 more chicks are arriving.
I will grow them in our brooder house, located closer to our own house.
When they are full grown, they will move in with the other flocks.
Our chickens live anywhere from 2 years to 6 years...
We house hens from each year together....so it's hard to tell the elders from the layers.
At any given time we have about half layers and half retirees
happily roaming our pastures.
Right now we are getting about 3 - 4 dozen eggs a day.
For the most part, our girls lay year round (except when they are molting)
due, in part, to the heat lamp in their henhouses...which provides some
additional light for them during the short winter days.
As for telling the girls apart....
the unusual breeds each get named, as well as the roosters.
However, when I purchase a group of one breed...say a group of Rhode Island Reds...
they all receive the same name... like "Lucy".
Otherwise, I might have to make each one a name tag!!!
(Don't tempt me!)
Jaz@Octoberfarm: What is going on with your bees? are you getting new ones? is a new puppy in your future?
Well, sadly, our last hive perished with the cold winter.
I have ordered 4 new packages of bees with new queens.
They will arrive in early May and will be installed in these hives.
It will take a couple of years to grow the hives enough to produce enough honey to harvest...
so we will keep our fingers crossed...and hope that next winter is milder!
A puppy? Well...life is great with Sam and Oakley right now.
And although I cannot resist puppies...co cute and cuddly...
I am leaning more towards another rescue.
So...when the right one (farm-worthy) comes along, we will most assuredly adopt.
Unless, of course, a puppy just happens to land in my lap before that time!
Lauren: "I'd love to know about the way you care for your goats.
I know they favor ritz crackers lol but maybe some of the more specifics of your routine with them.."
Our goats are the easiest of all of our animals.
In the summer, they have pasture grass to munch on, however in the winter
they rely upon hay in the hay rack.
(Truth be told, I think they are a bit lazy...they prefer hay in the summer, also.)
I feed them a pelleted goat feed twice daily to round out their nutrition.
Heated water buckets and plenty of fresh clean water are supplied daily.
We trim hooves several times a year.
Dr. Becky worms them and vaccinates them on a regular routine.
And abundant Ritz snacks are given as a reward for cuteness!
As for your comment, Patty Sumner, about the neatness of our farmyard...
I really try to keep everything around here looking spiffy!
However, this time of year when mud abounds,
I am careful to keep the pictures "looking" clean...even though reality is anything but!
I have the type of personality that requires a neat and tidy world around me,
or else everything feels out of control...
so a lot of effort is put into keeping things orderly.
Thanks for noticing!!!
I have really enjoyed our "conversation" this week...
feel free to throw any questions out to me at any time...
I will try to get your answers into a blog post.
As for today...it is finally supposed to warm up just a bit...
so I will be out doing some garden chores.
Hope spring has made an appearance in your neck of the woods!
How I would like to sit in the middle of all those baby chicks! They are so sweet!