Sometimes there are weeks that are just great. Well, this week was not one of them. It started off very exciting with the hatching of our first homegrown, naturally-incubated chicks, and pretty much went downhill from there. Here is my attempt to show that, despite all the happy posts I share about the wonders and joys of farm life, not all weeks are sunshine and roses. In fact, things are pretty imperfect around here this week. We are, after everything is said and done, human just like the rest of you.
The week started with the hatching of a few of the eggs that our Golden-laced Wyandotte hen was incubating. I was over the moon that it had been successful and we had our first LOSA-born chickens! Unfortunately, this week I had a very heavy workload off the farm, and was not able to be out to monitor them as frequently as I would have liked. Two chicks hatched, and a third was in the process of hatching. Yesterday I found one of the hatched chicks had died, the chick in the process of hatching had died before it fully hatched, and the remaining chick was not doing well. The mama hen was not interested in the remaining live chick very much. I did what I could for it before having to go off to work. I thought I could follow the hen's lead and let her incubate eggs when she felt up to it, but in the future I think it will be best to force her to wait until spring/summer. The hen was keeping them warm, I had a heat lamp on them, and had surrounded their area with hay bales to keep it warm. I don't know what the problem was, but at least waiting until spring would eliminate the weather issue.
My promising doe Azazel California Poppy has been having issues with growth, and I did not know her G6S status, so my mom and I drew blood to determine if she was G6S affected and that was causing her slow growth. Thankfully, she is not affected, but she is a carrier. Being a carrier does not affect her at all (having 'normal' goats is best though) but it means that, if I want to be a responsible breeder, I will have to test all of her kids and only offer for sale the 'normal' kids. My buck is G6S Normal by parentage and any future animals I buy will only be Normal so I don't have to continue doing G6S testing, as the test is NOT cheap. But, that means an additional expense each year for her offspring.
Then, there is the snow. AND the cold. We continue to see below zero cold spells that last up to a week. The animals are doing fine in it and I am able to keep my barn closed on extreme days. But, the animals are getting sick of it, and although I love winter, this year I am getting sick of it too. Why? Well, because of the extreme cold snaps, we have heard that the frost line is not 7' below ground (normal is 36"). That is all fine and dandy until your water hydrant freezes in your barn and you now have to cart 20 gallons, give or take, back and forth from the house to the barn 1-2 times/day. For the rest of the winter.
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.