So I put on some Frank (Sinatra.....yup, I'm pretty old) and away we go:
Baseball is in full swing and we have 3 boys playing. That means 3-4 evenings a week at the baseball fields and a couple of afternoons and nights during the week end. No games tonight, but we have scouts. We've been absent so much lately because of sports, the scout masters are going to ask us if we are in the right place. Actually, they've been pretty good about sports. Most of the boys in our town are in some sport or another. It's just hard to plan scout activities if the leaders are not sure who will show up. Our family is there about 1/2 the time. But between football-cross country-basketball-baseball-summerleagueswimming we miss quite a bit. The boys don't want to stop attending, so we fit scouting into our lives.
The farm is revving up. We now have two litters of meat rabbit babies. The third doe hasn't kindled yet. Not sure what's going on there. Rabbits are funny. Though she's due to deliver, if she has had a great scare or has experienced a lot of pain (that wasn't pregnancy induced) she could actually absorb the whole litter. I've not had a doe that has done this, but I've heard from other rabbit owners that it's possible. I just have to watch. If she has a tendency to not carry a litter to term, she might have to be taken out of meat production and to go to a family as a pet. That would be too bad. She's really nice big doe and her temperament is sweet. Unlike her sister who is also pretty big but a spaz. We have 14 rabbit babies altogether with another litter on the way.....I hope.
We also have a hen that's decided to start a family! She's setting on 5 eggs and has been since last week. There were initially 10 eggs but 5 were pushed out of the nest, over the span of a couple of days, by other hens trying to lay in the same box. Goofballs. I tried to fix a makeshift door or obstacle so that only the broody hen could come and go. But it didn't work. I'll have to figure out a system to keep the setting hen secluded but not excluded from the flock before the next time....if there is a next time. She's one of the smaller hens but you can't tell it. She gets all her feathers puffed up to cover those eggs. I hope she's successful. It would be really great if she had a new little family of chicks to raise.
Speaking of chicks. My youngest son requested chicks for his birthday this year. He wanted a fancy, feather-footed, bantam breed that he might be able to sell to "city folks" in the fall who might want to have just a couple of small birds in their backyards to lay eggs. It's a pretty good idea. But his birthday is in March and much too cold to think about raising day old chicks (even though we've had turkey babies in our basement for, what, 4 weeks now?) So I put him off promising to order the chicks he really wanted by the first of May to be delivered on Monday, May 24th. Unfortunately, we had a cold snap this past week end and several of the baby bantams didn't make the trip well. We lost 8 of the 10 ordered. Daniel was really disappointed. But the hatchery states they will make good on the 48 hour guarantee so I'll call tomorrow with the total number of chicks lost. We might have a replacement batch as early as next week! The first week of June promises to be sunny and a little warmer. The two little ones that have survived are really doing quite well. They sure are cute.....and little.
The turkey babies are big. Really big. I was feeding them yesterday and could have sworn I hear a little gobble come out of one of them. How did this:
Turn into this:
These birds are huge!
I used to love on them and snuggle with them and whisper sweet nothings into their ears: "mmmmmm butter, gravy, salt and pepper, cranberry sauce....." Now they are too flappy and fluttery and too big to hold for too long. So I mutter to them from afar, or at least through the old window screen that keeps them from exploring the house pooping on everything while we are asleep. And keeping them safely in their rubber tubs from our rambunctious red puppy that would like nothing better than try a turkey leg on the fly. These guys will go out on pasture in about 2-3 weeks depending on the weather. Domestic turkeys have a reputation for being pretty fragile. I'm just proud we made it this far with all 6 still alive and well and growing! I'll bet they already weigh 3-4 pounds a piece.
School's almost out for the summer and my children are not the only ones counting down the days. I can't wait!