I forgot to really post or talk about this year's clutch of baby chicks. Since Grace has taken over all aspects of the chicken duties I don't really see them that much. Grace collects the eggs each day, cleans the coops, feeds them twice a day and changes their water, and visits them to check up on any possible problems. I really don't find myself out there that much. A couple of days before Easter our three eggs hatched. They are all doing well and currently age at 4 weeks but of course all the pictures are from the first few days. It truly never gets old seeing this guys hatch out and just standing in amazement of how God's hand is in everything.
Betty is usually our mother of choice because she is the best egg layer, sitter, and mother we have out of the 18 adult chickens. Due to currently having 18 adults we only wanted a few extra so three was the match number. Did you get the School House Rock reference there? Anywho they are growing and are now starting to be in the scruffy teenage years where the cutest is starting to wear off.
Grace is convinced they are all boys which would be a shame. It is always good to add a few females in the mix each year to keep up egg production. If we do have any males once they reach maturity they will need to be harvested. Raising chickens is a wonderful project for any young person. They learn responsibility, how to research when things go wrong, science, life skills, and so much more. Not to mention they are a lot of work and need to be looked after properly. We always have to be worried about where we are when it is roosting time to make sure the coops get locked up at night to protect from predators. If it gets dark and we are not home to lock up the coops, then then doors are still open to the coops and they are much more vulnerable to predators climbing in and attacking. We lost a chicken last week. She wasn't present at roosting time (we count all the chickens each night before locking the coop), just disappeared and more than likely was dragged away by a predator. Predators in our area tend to be hawks, opossums, raccoons, and those of the domestic variety (cats and dogs). Regardless of the sometimes sad moments like this week, raising chickens is a very rewarding activity and we will continue to do so as long as we can. The fresh farm eggs aren't to shabby either, especially with the amount we need for Trim Healthy Mama recipes and meals.