Keep in mind that I have worked from home for the last, ohhhhh, 20 years or so, by myself, uninterrupted except for the occasional cat jumping into my lap or something of that sort. And now having my dear hubby, who is not used to being home all day, here for 6 months of "quality bonding time", was a bit of an adjustment for both of us. So I am ecstatic to report that after 6 months of diligent job hunting, sleepless nights, and endless budget revisions, he has secured gainful employment with a new company that is a great fit for our family and our lifestyle. Woohooo! Now we can turn the heat up in the house over 60 degrees...I wonder why we haven't had many visitors lately.....
Now that I have become accustomed to Gary being home for all these months I will have to readjust when he starts back to work on February first. :(
With that stressful chapter of our lives behind us, I am turning my thoughts toward spring, and focusing on positive things. My gardening catalogs have started to arrive, and that always gets me excited about the coming season. There is something so hopeful about perusing through gardening catalogs, planning a garden, and dreaming of spring lambs. I just received my 2008 Murray Mcmurray (chicken) catalog, so I am creating my wish list for new chicks that I will be ordering this year. Some of you, (like our dear wise-arse friends, Steve and Sue, that recently gave me this door mat) may be wondering if I really need any more chickens..
...don't be silly, of course I don't need any more chickens, but I have come up with a few good rationalizations to help me justify adding a few hens to the mix:
1. I do sell eggs at the local farmer's market and with the skyrocketing price of eggs, I really do need to bolster my flock a bit. They at least have to pay for their own feed! Hmmm...if I had less chickens maybe they would use less feed.................
2.I like to have my colorful hens wandering around as insect control since I don't use any chemical pesticides on our property. And it is so much fun to see how many people will stop by to let me know that my "chickens are loose". I am assuming that they are concerned about them not being confined, and are not referring to my hen's moral character.
3. When I ordered my chicks last year, they were out of one of the breeds that I wanted, so I HAVE to get some Blue Laced Red Wyandottes this year. And a few more Araucana/Americanas that lay my pretty colored eggs.
4. When you order chicks they have a 90% accuracy on sexing the chicks, so even though I ordered 25 female chicks last time, I end up with a few males which I end up giving away because I don't keep any roosters. And I don't eat anything with a face or a mother so they had to find new homes. Now I need to fill in with a few more hens, right? (Factoid: You do not need a rooster for hens to lay eggs, they will lay regardless, the eggs will just not be fertile).
For those of you who have not had the adventure of ordering chicks, it is pretty much like ordering anything else from a catalog...except it's a box of chickens...and postal workers call you from your local post office and say "hey, we have a chirping box here for you to pick up".
This is how it works, you thumb through the catalog, pick out your favorite chicks and pick the dates when you would like delivery, then send your order (FYI don't mark the box that asks if you want a free rare breed chick with your order, that is their way of getting rid of all the extra boys). They ship the chicks within a few hours of hatching. The chicks absorb the yolk sac prior to hatching and that is all the food and water that they will need for their little voyage. Then Voila, you have your box-o-chickens. There is a minimum order of 25 chicks so that they can keep each other warm. Don't panic, I will be splitting my order with a friend...I'm not keeping them all...no, really. Why don't you ever believe me?