Warning! This post ended up on the long winded end of things. I tried whittling it down but I just talk too much and that translates into a long blog post
After all the prep and planning and hosting and clean-up for the Hubs birthday weekend I was really looking forward to an unburdened weekend to recover. By Wednesday I knew that dream was fast slipping through my fingers. There were really only two things that came up about mid-week that threw a wrench in the spokes of my relaxation plans but they were both doozies.
Midge and I have long been involved in Girl Scouts and have made some lasting friendships. One of my dearest friends is an incredible whirlwind of creativity and enthusiasm. Ever involved in our local neighborhood scouting chapter she signed up to coordinate the Me & My Guy dance. She hit me up about catering the lunch time event. I cannot say no to this woman, she is just to incredible a being to leave her in a lurch. I donated my time and only had her cover the cost of materials from the event funds. This, however, required me to spend my Saturday afternoon hitting a couple of stores to purchase all the supplies needed. Luckily I had Midge along, she is an INCREDIBLE asset when I have a catering project. She mans the shopping list and crunches the numbers to be sure we stay on track.
So Saturday we shopped, but we also snuck a little time in to enjoy a bike ride with the Best and do a little gardening. I am finally winning the war with the slugs and took some time on Saturday morning to replant where I have suffered some casualties. Lettuces, cabbage and peppers.
Saturday evening Cousin N arrived shortly after the other big “wrench in my spokes” arrived. Now, if you have read any of my earlier posts you will have happened across my adamant declaration that I was done raising chicks that were too young to be outside. What is that saying? “If you want to hear God laugh, just make plans”? This is likely to have given Him a side-splitting, tear-crying, good-for-the-soul laugh. Turns out my pullet supplier, whom I have become fast friends with, has had the unfortunate luck of a Marek’s disease outbreak in her flock. Making this worse is that all her currently hatched chicks and pullets have not been properly vaccinated. This puts her entire flock at risk for developing symptoms and has effectively turned her house, yard and garage into a hotbed for the virus. Poor thing was just beside herself thinking she may lose her entire flock, most of which she planned to sell and that any new eggs that hatched out could not ever be properly vaccinated. I could go on and on about Marek’s now as we have all been doing much research, I’ll spare you. Just know, she had 11 eggs currently developing in an incubator and was expecting a delivery of more hatching eggs on Saturday.
What does any of that have to do with me and my peaceful weekend you ask. Well, genius me had a light bulb moment on Thursday morning. Our house is safer than hers when it comes to Marek’s. The chickens have never been allowed in the garage. Handsome Hubby has cleared HIS garage out so much so that there is enough room to easily set up a brooder in there which gives us a great spot to keep vaccinated chicks quarantined and safe. I talked it over with the Friend and she agreed to furnish everything we would need, from food and vaccines to heat lamps and feeders. All we have to do is house them. Bonus, Midge is in biology this year, maybe she can turn it into extra credit. I carefully broached the subject with The Hubs and, in his ever amazing way, he agreed to take the hatching, brooding and vaccinating of these chicks on. Yes, he is INCREDIBLE!!! The Friend went through the roof with excitement and relief.
We took delivery on Saturday night, I used a can of hospital grade disinfectant spray to decontaminate every bit of every item that was to enter our house, including the shoes and feet of the Friend and her kids. She then got us all set up and, like kids on Christmas morning, we carefully unwrapped the just arrived eggs. Three hours later my desk was covered by 2 incubators and cartons of eggs. Have to let the shipped ones sit for a day to “unscramble” before setting in the incubator. This is what I am now hoping to hatch…
If you count them, you will come up with 59 EGGS!!!! What the heck am I doing??!! I went from never going to hatch eggs at this house to now looking at potentially hatching nearly 5 DOZEN!!! I must be nuts! The good news (if there is such a thing in this crazy scheme) is that 11 are set to hatch on the 7th of April. The other 4 dozen should hatch around Easter. These chicks will all be “Properly” vaccinated for Marek’s, plus a few other nasty chicken diseases and will be given the best start.
Oh but how can I pass up the opportunity to help a friend out? Especially when she has no ordinary breeds set to hatch out. The first 11 are Croad Langshans. This is where they are from
The 4 dozen came from someone she found through a backyard chicken keepers forum, and are a variety of the following:
Chocolate Orpington or Wyandotte
Blue or Black Marans
Isabelle (Lavender) Marans
Black or Blue Laced Red Wyandotte
Blue or Black Barred Rock
Cream Crested Legbar
and the oh so coveted
I feel it is my duty to help give these amazing breeds the best chance at a healthy life. How could I not?
Sunday found Midge, Cousin N and I up early cooking pasta for 60, loading the incubators with the 4 dozen eggs, cleaning house, delivering and setting up all the food at the event, hanging with friends ( Midge at the mall) and hovering over the incubators like expectant mothers making sure the temp and humidity was holding at just the right places. I did manage to pick this beauty to serve with dinner on Sunday..