My, it has been a while since I’ve been in this lovely space! Given how chaotic things have been, can you blame me?
I hope all who still come to read my posts are here, and are enjoying their lives to the fullest that they currently can.
The homestead has been a a low buzz of activity during the winter. Clothes being mended, household tasks being tended, and projects imagined. Our initial idea of building a brand new coop for our flock has been kibosh-ed due to the house having a leaky roof, so that will get first priority. Instead of new digs, the chickens will get a new run – their’s is roughly a decade old and starting to show it’s age – and the coop interior will get a healthy dose of whitewash.
This spring will see a return of two things to the homestead that have been missing the past couple years: seedlings and chicks. We’ll be creating a (hopefully) successful seedling set up in the basement so that we can go back to being a bit more self-sufficient in that arena. After getting a larger wood stove for the house, we lost our regular set-up that we had been loosing as the space was no longer available in the living room. (Not to mention having a cat who likes to munch tomato seedlings…..not helpful.)
The chicks, as much as we’d rather buy local, have been purchased via a hatchery and will be here on May 23rd. I’m very excited as this allows us to add new blood to our crew. Why did we go hatchery instead of local? Unfortunately the breeds we were looking for are not established here in Maine. Trust me, if I had the space and time, I would certainly create a established flock of Andalusians and Anconas to hatch and sell. (While I only have experience with Andalusians, Anconas seem to be cut of the same cloth.) Along with those two breeds, we will also be getting a couple new Ameraucanas and some Welsummers.
The part of ordering chicks that feels the most out of sorts to me right now is that we just – yesterday, actually – lost one of our matriarchs to old age. Snowbird was an almost 10 year old Ameraucana that we purchased from a hatchery via the local hardware store during our second year of chicken keeping. She was a lovely bird and we will miss her greatly. Her sister, Beardie, is of the same age and still with us. Rest easy, Snowbird.