The calendar says it is still winter, as does the weather, but the babies around the farm make it feel like spring.
The goat triplets moved from the birthing stall into the nursery. They now have more space, natural light and fresh air, and can meet the rest of the flock through a wire wall. The children have picked names for these three beauties – Lilac, Marigold, and Clover. We still haven’t decided which one we are keeping, but two of them are going to be sold and go to their new home later this week. Such a hard choice!!! They are all healthy, vigorous, and beautiful. We are so glad for that. And they are likely the hardest baby animal to photograph of any that I have tried. They move constantly.
In addition to the baby goats…our baby chicks arrived!
We bought 33 chicks, unfortunately 3 died the first day. 10% chick mortality rate in the first day seems to be standard for us when the hens don’t hatch and raise them themselves. When the hens do it we have a much lower mortality rate.
We purchased a mix of Buff, Red, and Partridge Chanteclers for our breeding program. Plus some Salmon Faverolles and Easter Eggers just for fun. I really like to have color variety in my flock as well in my eggs. Then, while we were picking up our order, the store had one Silkie chick left so I went ahead and added that to ours. Our Silkie hen, Eve, has been such a great setter and mother for us that it would be nice to have another one. If it is a male then we might use it to breed to Eve to get some more Silkies that could potentially be setters for us.
The dots on the chicks heads are how the hatchery could mark which ones were which breed since several start out as yellow baby chicks before their feathers come in.
So much fun with all the baby animals! And we have more goat kids due in the next couple of weeks. Gretchen is starting to bag-up and is looking pretty wide. Last year she had quadruplets, so we are guessing there are 3 or 4 babies in there. Time will tell!