My apologies for the slow posting of late; our family just returned a few days ago from a big vacation in my home town of Seattle. It’s remarkable we were all able to get away from the farm for so many days in the middle of summer, but the trip was a big one and we’d been planning it for nearly a year. What made it possible was finding a friend we could trust to come take care of our animals (including milking three goats) twice a day.
It never ceases to amaze me how much can change on a farm in just nine days. The growth in the garden was dramatic, especially the potatoes. (And the weeds!) But what really struck me was how much larger the ducklings, goslings, and turkey poults are, and how much more feathered they had become. The goslings are still smaller than the mature geese, of course, but are nearly as well feathered:
I’m going to be turning the female ducklings loose in the next couple of days. We’ll keep the drakes in these moveable pens until they reach butchering size in a few weeks.
The biggest surprise, however, was in the deepest and darkest corner of the barn. Back in the kidding pen, a Barred Rock hen had made a nest…and hatched out eight little chicks!
She’s been taking them for walks, and I managed to get a little video. Her deep, reassuring clucks — and the chicks’ eager little peeps — are priceless:
I could watch them for hours. And it’s so blisteringly hot here, I’m not sure I want to do anything more strenuous than watch the poultry grow.