You wait for so long for summer to come, it will never come, it really never will, never ever, and suddenly it's hot and green and there are peas and radishes and salad greens and school is out and it's time to get ready for the county fair and all that stuff.
It's the busy time for us, so it's hard to sit down and blog. But I just had the most exciting thing happen!
We've been watching this one hen for a while. Popper. She's broody. That means she sits on eggs, hoping they'll hatch. Most hens these days have not been selected for breeding- or brooding capabilities, so most don't go broody. But you know how the life force is. Must reproduce!
Popper's a regular broody hen, but she kind of sucks at it. Her favorite thing is to take over a popular nesting spot, sit on eggs for a couple weeks, just long enough to mess up all the other hens' laying habits, and then blow the eggs off about half way through and go do something more interesting. She's not the greatest brooder. Twice she's hatched one solitary chick, after sitting on about a dozen eggs for about two months.
This year seemed to be the same. Good ole One Chick Mama Hen.
Until she hatched a second, which seemed like a miracle.
So she has two. Wow, Popper. That's pretty good. A good year for chicks at Honey Hollow Farm, where we already have about 40 chickens, which is about 25 more than we need.
And then today I was down in the garden and I heard a hen poking around the tomato plants. What? No hens in the garden! I went over to chase her out and heard peeps. What? How did Popper and her two chicks get out of the safe brooder coop they're in?
But it wasn't Popper. It was Baby's Daughter. Baby's a tiny black bantam hen, from the first round of chicks we bought when we first moved up here. Two years ago Baby disappeared for a month and came back with six tiny black chicks. We were literally jumping up and down with joy and astonishment when we saw them.
Now Baby's Daughter has taken after her mama, and hatched.... TWELVE CHICKS! Oh my. That's extremely impressive. I don't even know how she could keep that many eggs safely under her, and still manage to eat and drink, without anyone noticing. Smart lady.
They appear to be living in our tangled raspberry patch inside the garden. I tried to get a picture, but Baby's Daughter got very upset with me. She's a good mom. Hmm, Popper? Are you paying attention?
I don't have another brooder coop, so I guess they can stay in the garden for now. How much damage could 12 baby chicks do?
Here are some other pictures of things we have been doing, from farm chores to soap-making and felty things. Hope you're all having a great summer!