Spring has sprung, and man, have we had a long haul of perfect days for planting! Last weekend we got nearly three inches of slow and steady rain after two plus weeks of great weather. Lovely as it is, when you hit the ground running the minute you wake up and don't stop (or get the chance to shower) until the sun is going down, becoming a bit broody is a real possibility. In the spring, we can become overwhelmed with the ever expanding "To Do" list, feel physical aches and pains that we worry may never go away, and now, with Coronavirus rearing its ugly head, we worry about our economic future as well. Humans are great at being BROODY.
And so are my hens as it turns out. "We only got three eggs today, Flossy," Bill reported to me one day last week. "And they're gettin' broody." Huh, I think. What the heck is that? I know I am a broody old hen tired and worn out from all the work...is that what my hens are experiencing? I had no idea, having never raised chickens before, what a broody hen really meant. Time for FARM SCHOOL!
"What do you mean, William, by BROODY?" He gestures towards the coop and I follow excited for an impromptu lesson.
"Listen. Here that quiet cluck, cluck, cluck? And see how she's just sittin?" (I'm envious of the just sittin' part!) "She wants to sit on eggs. She's telling us she would like to hatch out some babies. There's another Orpington that's been sitting in the barn broody, too."
"Is she sitting on eggs?"
"No. But we could put some under her and she'll likely hatch them out."
Farm school is so fun, and I love experiments, so we cancelled all our egg orders and began stuffing eggs under our sweet broody girls. We gave them both a big pile of eggs and made note of it, so in the chaos of Spring we didn't forget to check on them. We should know in another two weeks if our broody hens had success. In the meantime, we have an order of baby chicks coming next week to help expand our flock.
We probably should have worried more about the safety of the hen in the barn, but with life being so busy, we left her be. Sadly, she was attacked and didn't survive. Whatever took our bird, left the eggs behind. FARM SCHOOL sometimes has really sad lessons. William cracked one of her eggs and at least we know our new mean rooster, Richard L'Arrogant is doing his job!
Let's take a walk down Sleepy Hallow to destress.
Barn Door's Open Saturday as the future farm store is getting its new old siding put on. William is tearing down an old barn at the neighbor's and using the barn wood for this new building. Except for the sheeting and screws, this building will be made entirely of recycled lumber. If you know me, of course I am impatient to set up a more permanent shop, but I know that working with recycled parts is like putting together a puzzle - slow to go. And, now that city-girl me understands the pressures of spring for a farmer, whenever I feel impatient, I remind myself that my sweet husband took on Spring planting AND the farm store in the same breath. It's enough to make a guy broody!
So, yes, we've got broody hens and pooped out farmers, but we're excited for Saturday come rain or shine! We'll have all the old standbys with a few new products for you to try. I have a new mustard made with Lucette's Farmer's Daughter Blonde Ale and Curry. Despite added curry, it's a mellow mustard on the heat scale. We will also have fresh rhubarb, a Spring Tonic Tea made with nettles, mint and violets, and a new Cinnamon CBD balm for sore joints.
Barn Door's Open 9-5 N1972 420th Street, Maiden Rock, WI
See you there!
Sarah and William Brenner