Thursday, December 3, 2015

Chicks and Cousins

Elizabeth and Charlotte carrying out the chicks to the brooder house

In July, it was time for the Thanksgiving Turkeys to arrive.  It takes about 18 weeks to get them to the size we want for the holiday.  This July, we also ordered 35 pullets (Chicks that will grow up to be laying hens).  The rest of our laying flock will be 18 months by spring and their laying  starts to slow down at that time. It was time to get some little ones going.  We pick up our chicks from Meyer's Hatchery.  I always have had good results when I start off with their chicks.  I ordered 30 turkey poults and we harvested 30 turkeys at Thanksgiving.  The 35 chicks still have 32 or 33 left.

The downy chicks are so sweet. You can see that this one still has it's egg tooth. That's the little bump on the end of the beak. The pullets are now 19 weeks old and we are still waiting for them to lay their first egg.  It can be any time now.

Charlotte enjoyed playing with the chicks.  This is the epitome of fluffiness.

We start them off in the brooder house.  We shrink the area with hay bales so that we can keep them warm and regulate the heat easier.  We were also trying to keep the turkeys separate from the pullets, as they eat different feed and the wrong feed can harm them.  The separation idea was a good idea but it only worked a little because the birds figured out how to get back and forth pretty quickly.  I did observe that they did seem to eat mostly at their own feeders before going visiting.  They all survived so I guess it worked out.

We really enjoy visitors on the farm.  It forces us to slow down and enjoy where we live.  We enjoyed having campfires and roasting marshmallows.  The kids fished and  ran around in the dark.

This is my nephew Joe.  He has the most adorable smile and deep dimples.

He is a very busy young man!

He does enjoy some quiet time with books now that he is growing up.

He also makes some funny faces when you try and take a real picture of his family.
We love having the Herlings visit!

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