"Spring" Arrives, Chickens Depart

A typical Minnesota March:
temperatures occasionally hit the 50s,
melting the winter snowpack
and luring us into complacency.
The neighbor's hay field emerges
and the pond starts to thaw.
Then a fresh snowfall, which doesn't last long on the ground.
Red in the morning
on the first day
of official spring.
With a dusting by noon
and more windy snow
in the late afternoon.
Niblet enjoys one of the last snowcones of the season
and grabs some bark to play with.
He and Dodger are two peas in a pod. (Dodger is due April 9.)
Dream and Alba don't look so much alike but have the same disdainful stare. (Alba is due April 18 and Dream on June 14.)
Pileated woodpeckers were regular visitors all winter, depleting the suet feeder

and chipping large chunks of bark off the red pines.
The goats also do their best to keep the trees trimmed
or toppled over.
Laying hens who slack off egg production
are usually turned into stewing hens.
But because the Farmers are not yet authentic enough
to dispatch their own animals,
They boxed the 29 chickens up, packed them in the back of the Rav Goatmobile,
and hauled them over to the Jusczak Family Farm in nearby Moose Lake, where they will continue to lay eggs and then (we presume) enjoy a long and pampered retirement. New chicks will arrive at MeadowWild in April.
Meanwhile Bubba, too, looks forward to the warmer weather and takes advantage of all the sunlight he can find.


Anonymous said...

Hello. How do you know the exact due dates of the goats? When we had cows, we just had a general idea.
--Kim Lasky

the Farmers said...

gestation for a dairy goat is 150 days from the breed date. breeding is controlled so that we know exactly when to expect the kiddos. the does are only receptive to the buck during the appr. 24 hours that they are fertile, so they will only stand still for them during that time, and only during the late fall/early winter.
thanks for asking, Kim :-)