Today has been a bit of a difficult morning, so today's post may be a little less than usual. The babies are doing well and we are approaching the next theoretical butchering date, though I'm not looking forward to trying to deal with doing killing in the depth of snow we have. Especially after the ice storm last night.
Speaking of the 5 P's of Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance, we have confirmation of a coyote, not just guesses. Left you can see a modestly good photo of a Big coyote less than 50 yards from our house. It is likely either following the deer that move through that area all the time, or was coming to use the seep well. It was scared off by the camera, so we didn't get a better picture unfortunately. It is a reminder though that I really do need to make the coop good and secure, and should try to figure out at least a half way decent fence for it. I'm a bit stuck right now on foundation since I don't know much about foundations and concrete. For the fence at least there is a standard way to do things, and that makes it easier. Just do it the normal way, I don't need to guess and try to come up with a good plan.
We put in our order for chickens which will be coming in sometime late April. They are expected between 4/22 and 2/25. We placed the order with Michelle Chandler of the "Blessed Acre Farm." You can see a link to her blog on the right. By combining orders we are saving shipping for both of us, and bumping her up an ordering tier reducing our price over all benefiting both of us. She also has a large enough operation that she can hold them for a day or two when the chicks arrive so we can come get them. We ordered 16 chicks. Probably should have ordered more than that to account for fatalities, but we are starting off conservative. If we lose a bunch of chickens we need to fix a problem, and layers come up for re homing every year.
What we ordered:
10 Welsummer Chosen for a combination of heartyness, good egg production, and that they are a dual purpose breed. They are also very pretty which is a consideration since we do like having nice photos. They aren't quite as good at laying as Rhode Island Red, but do produce well.
3 Rhode Island Red Speaking of Rhode Island Red, they are the quintisential dual purpose breed, big, hearty, and prolific egg layers. They can be a little less friendly and easy to handle than the Welsummers, and aren't quite as pretty thus only getting a few of them to start with. The non industrial versions are recovering from being on the conservation watch list.
3 Aracuna These we got mostly because we wanted the multi colored eggs, and because everyone who has them loves them. They are relatively hearty to cold, and decent layers. They also apparently have a great personality.
We will see what works out well for us, and do more of that. The Lady of the House really wants to have a mixed flock for fun and aesthetics, so we will never be a one breed homestead which is fine with me.
In terms of the critters that we are regularly seeing at the trail camera, there is a family of 4 deer. A mother and her 3 babies. They are sometimes followed by another mother and her baby. There is a buck out there that we don't see often, and obviously the coyote. From the tracks there is probably another that travels with it that we didn't get a picture of. It is nice to have the trail camera telling us exactly what is out there.