In addition to planting time, harvesting time, and canning time, March is my favorite time of the year because that’s when all the feed stores start getting in their chicks. Most of them already have their brooders set up and ready to go, just waiting to be populated by cheeping balls of fuzz. On March 1st I can pick up my first of four batches of chicks! In preparation for the new wave, I evicted garage broody mama and relocated greenhouse broody mama to the garage brooding box. Garage broody mama is happily teaching her chicks to hunt bugs and other tasty treats in the grass, while the new garage broody mama is supremely annoyed to find herself outside of her tropical environment. I had to move her, though, because she and her chick were jumping up in to the pots and scratching up all the avocado tree roots. She only has to put up with the garage for another day though, because come March, she’s going to the shed with the other broody mama. I figured the shed is the best bet, because there’s a door to separate the two mamas. The coop already has four broodies in residence, one in each of the nesting boxes that Gene built. I’ve taken to calling it the Broody Cube, since it’s basically a box of broodies now. Since more chicks is the last thing we need right now, I went and bought fake eggs at Wilco. It seems kind of mean, but it keeps the broodies occupied and happy, even though they’re incubating a piece of wood. With my luck, they’ll figure out a way to make it hatch.
Speaking of hatching, Daisy Mae looks like she’s ready to pop. Since her previous owner couldn’t remember exactly when in September she’d gotten her “play date”, we figure she’s due any day now. I think it will be sooner rather than later, because she just started walking with a pregnant waddle. Thanks to Buttercup and Ariel, I know exactly what to look for, and once I see the telltale signs we will confine her to the alpaca cabana so she has a nice clean and dry nursery for her little one. I really hope it’s a girl, since boy goats are stinky and eventually go live the happy bachelor life at Abigail’s.
Not only will spring bring a baby goat, but it will also mark the time when Harvey and Cinnabun will be allowed to snuggle all they want. Harvey can’t wait, because he gets grumpy on the rainy days when I have to lock him in his area in order to let Cinnabun get a chance to roam. At four months, she’s almost as big as he is at two years, so she’s going to be a bunny of significant size. She can mow through a bag of salad, a whole carrot, and half an apple at an impressive rate, and that’s not even counting her growing addiction to Wheat Thins. They spend each night cuddled up together, with a thin wall of chicken wire separating them. I’ve noticed that Harvey no longer goes on his all-night benders; he comes hopping happily home at dusk as I’m dispensing the evening meal. He takes great delight in rampaging right through the flock of chickens gathered in front of the coop for their evening ration of scratch, sending them flapping and squawking in all directions.
In garden news, once again I got screwed by the weather – the very morning after I put the shallots into the ground, I woke up to see frost on the ground and ice in the waterers. I planted the carrot and radish seeds outdoors according to my Farmer’s Almanac schedule, but nothing has sprouted yet. My indoor and greenhouse seeds are faring much better – my 15 pound radish seeds are now thriving seedlings, and my tomato and pepper plants are quite happy. This week I’m also starting my cucumber, melon, and pumpkin seeds, so Gene is running out of time to figure out where our one-ton monster pumpkin is going to live.