It’s been at least a week since our last snowfall, so of course our thoughts and actions turn to spring.
Shawn built an incubator and we hatched our first eggs. There was a bit of a learning curve as we played with temperature and humidity settings and figured out how to candle (flashlight) the eggs to see if they were viable. We bought hatching eggs from two local suppliers, and of the 41 we put into the incubator 18 hatched (and we are proud to report are still alive three weeks later). These will be added to our laying flock to increase our egg production, and hopefully a few of them will give us colored eggs.
We also purchased 23 new layer chicks. They spent a few weeks in the brooder before heading outdoors to begin their integration with the current hens. They are in a modified chicken tractor that allows them to sneak out between the bars but keeps the bigger chickens out.
After pouring over the seed catalogs all winter, we narrowed down our selections and ordered seeds. We have a seed starting station in the basement that allows us to get a jump-start on the garden. The growing season in our area is only 100 days, so we want to get the seedlings going as soon as possible.
We also started a few indoor plants. We didn’t have any luck with the fig tree we planted outdoors last year, so we’re trying an indoor fig this year. It will live outdoors on the deck after the last frost and then come back inside in late fall. A friend recommended this nifty little greenhouse, and we hope to fill it with herbs, sprouts, and other greens to use year-round. The basil is already impressive.
We are raising pigs again this year after taking a break last year. We have four Hampshire/Berkshire piglets: two boys and two girls. You never want to get too attached to your food, so we named them Carnitas, Chorizo, Chili Verde and Manteca. They’re starting out in a fixed pen, but will soon begin their rotational grazing across our property.
All these beasts need to eat, so Shawn picked up a ton of non-GMO feed from our local feed supplier plus bags of chick starter for the 50 meat birds that are arriving later this week.
Spring is a busy time around Spring Creek Acres. What are you doing to prepare for the growing season?