We had a nice streak of beautiful weather…and then things turned nasty on Friday. Cold, rainy, high winds…no fun at all. This morning we actually awakened to a Mothers Day frost; Mrs Yeoman Farmer said she was glad we hadn’t gotten the potatoes planted yet.
We may not have lost any plants last night, but the cold snap did claim an unfortunate casualty: ten chicks. We had about 30 meat bird chicks and 30 Barred Rock pullet chicks in a pasture pen, and they’d been thriving. At a month old, they’re fully feathered and were perfectly capable of surviving temps in the thirties. But this morning, when I opened the pen to feed them, I discovered that the whole mass of chicks had piled up in a corner of the pen last night seeking warmpth. Nine little Barred Rock pullets, and one big cornish cross meat chick, got crushed to death.
Still plenty left, but picking up all those little bodies made for a very unpleasant start to the morning.
On a happier note, Intrepid Hen continues doing a masterful job. She’s been sleeping outside with her little brood every night, even in pouring/driving rain. Some mornings I come out and she’s soaked — but the little chicks are peeping around happily. Last night, she camped out next to our pasture pen containing ducklings and goslings. I suspect the ground was fairly warm where we’d moved the pen off of the previous day’s duck/gosling droppings; she and her brood probably got some nice heat coming off that manure. Anyway, the chicks were peeking out at me from between her feathers this morning, and then ran around looking for grain the ducklings/goslings had dropped.