Babies, Babies, Babies!

A rare Barred Holland chick.

Wow, what a day yesterday was!  Spring may be springing a little early this year, as we have babies coming and going.  This is the part of farming that everyone enjoys, there is just nothing cuter than baby animals.

Thursday began with a call before dark from the post office letting me know that my chicks had arrived.  I love getting that call, no matter how many times we have ordered chicks- it never gets old.   I can’t really explain why, but you feel like you are on some kind of secret mission as you drive through town in the dark with downtown so quiet and the streetlights reflecting of the damp pavement.  Then you get to the post office and you are the only car in the parking lot and entering a government building during the un-open hours can make you feel like you are committing some crime.  Once inside you ring the little door bell, I did not even know this doorbell existed until I started ordering chicks by mail.  The half-door opens and the post lady hands you a box of chirping chicks. When it is cold I run the heater full blast and then set the box in the floor board so they can get warmed up.  Before I leave the post office, I always open and check for dead chicks.  Thankfully, in all the chicks I have ordered, I have never had a DOA.  However, you must check before you leave so that the hatchery can refund you for any that did not make the trip.

Sierra and a Silver Penciled Hamburg.

We chose Barred Holland, Silver Laced Penciled Hamburgs, Black Australorps, and Minorcas.  Jonathan wanted the Hamburgs because he thought they were so beautiflul.  They are beautiful and supposed to be excellent layers of white eggs.  A lot of people think white eggs means the chickens are in commercial egg farms, however, egg color is simply  a genetic trait like blue eyes.

Savannah named this one “Clarice” because she thinks she looks elegant.

After the chicks were settled, Tony and I went to the dairy sale in Sulphur Springs.  That sale was very nice and clean, I was really impressed.  We have been looking for a pair of bull calves so we can keep our home grown meat coming.  Also, I have been looking and researching about what breed of family cow I want for about 2 years.  I finally decided that a Jersey is for me.  I am happy to report that I got a jersey heifer and a jerseyXholstein cross heifer.  I am very excited.

The cross is a little older and already knew exactly what a bottle was and just took right to it.  The other 3 are younger and we have had to teach them what to do.  This is quite messy, but fun.  So, between the lambs and the four calves, it is bottle central around here.

One happy farm girl and Tawanda

In 24 months, my heifer will give birth and we will have milk!  The jersey heifer is named Tallulah, we love Cool Runnings, the movie about the Jamaican bobsled team.  That name just makes me smile.  Due to the fact that when we put the little cross heifer in the stall and she decided the gate should be open and began to ram the stall door, we gave her the name “Tawanda”  Love Fried Green Tomatoes!

My jersey girl, Tallulah
Bottle feeding has its hazards, in a second she is going to butt my butt looking for an udder.

Waiting 24 months seems like a long time, but by starting with a bottle baby I will have a family cow that was raise on our place.  She and I will know each other and trust each other by the time I start setting down to milk.  And as I have gotten older, 24 months just aren’t as long as they used to be!!!

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