2016, March

Farm update – 3/6/2016

IMG_20160306_200905Another beautiful weekend for farm chores!

This week was devoted to a successional planting of many of the spring crops planted two weeks ago, plus a few newbies. But the highlight of the weekend was the purchase of 6 more chicks, this time Black Sex-links.

Seeds and seedlings planted this week include: cabbage, broccoli, swiss chard, spinach, purple top and hakurei turnips, romaine and winter density head lettuces, mixed loose-leaf lettuce, snow and snap peas, three varities of carrots, two varieties of beets, and radishes. We now have more than 850 linear feet of vegetables planted!

 

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Rows prepared for planting.

On the chicken side of the farm, our “older” chicks are Production Reds, a cross between two breeds we already have: Rhode Island Red and New Hampshire, which are both excellent layers. The Production Reds, as the name implies, are bred to produce lots of large to extra large brown eggs. The “younger” chicks are Black Sex-links, a cross between Rhode Island Red and another popular breed, the Barred Rock, and termed sex-link because male and female chicks are distinguishable as soon as they hatch. Our new additions are all pullets (female) because they lack a white spot on their heads that little roosters have at hatching. On the other hand, it will be several more weeks before we can distinguish between male and female Production Reds.

Chicks (older chickens too!) are entertaining to watch. They, like lots of other baby animals, I suppose, have two speeds: on and off. They spend their time either running back and forth across their pen, or asleep. In case you’ve never had the pleasure of basking in the early morning sun with a barn cat at your side, watching baby chicks greet the day, below is a video to show you how much fun (and sweet sounding!) it can be. Notice how much bigger the Production Reds are than the Black Sex-links, even though they’re only about 10 days older.

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