Big Broody Red - Week 2.
Broody hen week 2 of 3! Yup! One more week and we will (God willing) have baby chicks we hatched on our own farm! HOW COOL?!
Big Red looks so angry when she is sitting on the eggs. She comes out once a day for less than an hour to take a dust bath, eat and poop. Necessities, man.
Now there is a dog kennel set up in the coop with straw and a basket and spots for food and water. This way once the babes hatch I can stick them and momma in the kennel. They can stay integrated with the flock, but also have their privacy.
I was way too anxious to see if the eggs were even going to hatch, so I candled them (stuck them on a bright light to see inside, think chicken ultrasound) and HOLY MOLY THERE WAS MOVEMENT. Life inside the egg. It was the coolest thing ever!
She is sitting on 14 eggs, 2 of which are duck. I checked 3 chicken and 1 duck – all had movement!
Please send up some prayers that Big Red successfully hatches her eggs.
Speaking of chickens…
Have you ever heard of the expression, “when it rains, it pours”? Well… it’s pouring here at The Sheep Shed.
We lost two more birds.
This time, the au’ natural way – death by hawk.
Last week my heart was broken by the death of the babies. This week, I am angry.
I thought that the hawks were scared of the sheep – we have had ZERO issues since getting sheep. I also thought – we have 4 birds that don’t really have protection, so if we were going to have a casualty, it would be them.
We lost our Oreo and C-3PO. Oreo was our Mosaic white rooster and C-3PO was our Olive Egger that actually gave us a sea-foam green egg. Goodbye pretty egg baskets, until next year.
Now the birds are back to being contained to their run unless we are outside. They are not fond of this, but I think they would rather live than 100% free-range.
6 damn chickens gone in one week.
This is why there is ‘chicken math‘. Because you plan a flock of 10 birds and in one week you lose half of them. Better be safe and get 20 birds, just in case.
Sheared & Snipped.
So we finally did it… we sheared the sheep and docked the tails! I have been putting this off for so long because I felt bad. Our ewes were not docked at birth for reasons I 100% understand. I thought it would be okay to raise them that way because of my online research, but our Sheep vet and other farmers have suggested we dock them – flystrike is no fun.
When you dock tails older than a week old, the sheep have to be given a sedative as well as a cut and cauterized tail vs. just a banding. This was making me feel guilty and I was procrastinating. But we have to do it before the flies hit, so here we are.
Hubby attempted to shear the sheep last weekend. He had done research and bought a quality set. We got to shearing and clipped the sheep’s skin. That was that. We were hiring it out – after all it was a LOT cheaper that way.
We thought the sheep would be S’CUTE when they were shaved. Like a fresh cut puppy.
They are so much cuter all fluffed up!! Now they’re all awkward looking. 😂
Then to add insult to injury, the ewes had to have this major procedure done the next day. – tail docking. The vet sedated them and did his job – cut, cauterized and set them free. And that was that. Tailless awkward sheep. Sorry girls. Breeding season isn’t for 6-7mos… you should be cute by then.
At least you don’t have a beard anymore, Leisl!
Banny the Barn Cat & Sweet Waxy Greens.
This weather though!
Minnesota is in full-spring! Our cold-front this week will bring us down to highs of 50°F (NOT 30°F!). I even have a glimmer of a tan peeking through!
The OG Sheep Shed animal – Banny the Barn Cat – gets to spend his time outside too. I have to be clear on something though. Banny is NOT a barn cat. He was found malnourished at 2 weeks old in our barn almost 6 years ago. Since then he has become a very spoiled house cat that likes to explore outdoors, but he knows where his bed is…. and it’s not in the barn. He’s more of a patio cat, but don’t tell him. He thinks he’s tough. He’s Banny the Barn Cat.
Also, we went to my in-laws and I was peeking around my MIL’s yard – she has a ton of flowers. Some of her flowers were peeking their green little heads! Jealousy flushed my body! What?! No. Way.
As soon as we got home I brushed away the leaves from my spring bulbs and early perennials – YOU GUYS! MY FLOWERS TOO!
What is it about the first waxy leaves that appear in spring? It just gets my blood pumping. My tulips are popping up – Mr. Gopher didn’t eat my bulbs. My Hydrangeas are budding, my raspberries are budding. I kept plants alive through the winter, yet again.
Now THAT deserves an AMEN!
So there you have it… another week in the books.
The many signs of spring here on the farm – broody hen, hawks feasting, sheared sheep, and the first perennial leaves.
What are your favorite signs of spring?
Despite the hardships, it is important to get excited about life. Can’t let things get you down, always look to improve and grow.
If you ever have any questions, or ideas for future blogs, comment below or shoot me an email!
From the farm,