John and I have decided to do a small meatie batch this spring. We originally wanted 10 but Tractor's Supply only had 7 when I went to get them so we are settling for that.
After the horrific ending of the last batch, we opted against ordering them from the hatchery. I'm not sure why but the best batch that we did was the first one and those chicks came from Tractor's Supply. This group is following suit. No losses, excellent growth and better temperament.
We also have three new layers that will be going into the coop with Zeus and the other girls either late this summer or early fall. They are doing well and spend their day time hours outside with the meaties in the market pen. I bring them in at night so they aren't subjected to the pile on that happens when meaties go to sleep. Smaller chicks can be suffocated when things like that go on.
|Hardening off plants on the sunny porch.|
I have a LOT of plants to start with this year. Starting them under lights was the best decision I've made in long time. No spindly plants and while thinning them out, I can choose the best of the best plants. I don't baby anything because I want the strongest, healthiest plants that I can get. The first round of plants that I started from seeds has begun the hardening off process and I'm sure there will be a few more casualties before planting time which for us will be the end of the last week of April and the first week of May.
Round two is smaller but those plants are just as important to the object of the exercise this year. They will hopefully germinate this week and go under the lights to start hardening off. Some of round two plants are replacements for round one plants that didn't germinate.
The gardens look like hell right now. I have done absolutely no clean up at all and that will have to be done before the expansions are tilled. That's right. This year is going to be even bigger than last year. It has to be because of the variety of plants that we are doing.