Friday, February 19, 2010

guess who's feeling motherly?

That's right, everyone's favorite broody is back. Only this time, she's not sitting on a phony. Nope, this time it's the real deal. She's got five full-sized eggs under there. (Interestingly, she can cover five eggs, but five eggs plus a golf ball is just that much too much. The "decoy" had to be removed!) Just look at the spread of those wings. You'd never guess to look at her here, but she's really quite a tiny thing. Now that we have ample nest space and nice secure housing, we've decided that she can raise as many babies as she likes, whenever she likes. No more wooden eggs and golf balls for this girl. Besides, with all the variety we have in the poultry yard, it will be fun to see what sort of mixed breeds we end up with! Given our luck, though, they will ALL be Barred Rocks, and they will ALL be roosters, since that seems to be how we roll around here.

This time of year is a time for babies on the farm. We'll soon be awash in them. The first goat kid was only the beginning of a long spell of new life emerging. Between now and May, it will be an almost constant influx of offspring - a hostile takeover by the next generation. There are twenty-five chicks coming tomorrow, in addition to these five eggs being incubated in-house. Mother duck is building a clutch as we speak - it grows larger by the day and more deeply feathered. We're still awaiting the rest of the kids to make their appearance, and we know we have some buns in the oven, thanks to our new Californian does. Another crate of honeybees will join us in early April, and the gardens, trees and pasture will be offering up new leaves and shoots before we can say boo. The old will stand down. Youth will reign supreme. They are coming.

While I generally don't get emotionally attached to my livestock, I must admit to a certain fondness for the mothers around here. They're so earnest and work so hard. Their whole being is distilled and dedicated to a singular purpose. They really put heart, soul and unwavering determination into their efforts, and for that I adore (and applaud) them.

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