Joy of Spring

Peach Blossoms on the Farm

Lawns get cut
for their first
Green grass
with morning dew
Birdies chirp
songs of
sunshine delight
Daffodils and tulips
dance in the breeze
Dogs go for
longer walks
Everyone and everything loves
the joy of spring
~Wendy Schreiner

Springtime is my favorite time of the year, especially on the farm. It also happens to be one of the busiest times of the year. We made it through out first year of selling eggs and through trial and error we have learned from our mistakes and made adjustments and still have a few adjustments to make. What has that to do with springtime? With the longer and warmer days, our hens are beginning to lay again. I need to get things ready to begin selling our eggs and there is much to do.

Last year, we sold out every week on the Clemson Area Food Exchange. That’s not saying a lot, because we started off with only 25 hens. This year we are expanding and I need to order 50 more chicks so they will be laying by August. I will keep the 25 I have for another year and then sell them while they are still laying.

Also, last year, we moved from mobile enclosures to permanent enclosures. I believe hens require 108 square feet per bird to be considered pastured hens, but we have well over double that and I plan to add even more. I’m also moving away from the 3′ electric netting and installing 4′ plastic landscape/builder netting. It will cut my fencing costs by almost 75% and the extra foot of height will help keep a few Houdini hens within the enclosure with the rest of the flock.

Other changes for this year:

  • Expanding the enclosure to encompass a spring. This will give the flock a steady supply of fresh, cool water in the hot summer months.
  • Swapping the individual plastic nesting boxes with a large metal Best-Nest roll-out box. This nesting unit will accommodate up to 45 hens and it prevents them from eating their eggs. It also keeps the eggs cleaner so that they require less scrubbing when washed.
  • Get the farm delivery truck ready. This is a bright red 1965 Chevy pickup. Great advertisement.

We are still planning on raising some broilers this spring too. We don’t have our processing building setup yet, but we are working on it. Until then, our broilers will be processed and stored here in our home. Just as we did with the layers, we are going to start slow with the broilers and will probably only raise about 25 this first go around.

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ~Margaret Atwood

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