by Jennifer Sartell
Story and photos
Spring is coming!
Well, not for a while, but it’s nice to think about anyway. In Michigan, the winters are long and depressing. I just read an article titled “Every State, Ranked by How Miserable its Winters Are” with Michigan coming in second to Minnesota. We even beat Alaska! Um…yay?
After the holidays I always get this wave that comes over me, it’s happened for years. I call it The Green Wave. Not “green” like I’m going to recycle everything (though that’s admirable and something I strive for) green in a different way. It’s like a freshness that I crave.
I like to clean the house really good after the Christmas decorations come down. Let’s be honest…dusting around all those pine cones, greens, and Santa Clauses during December…it just doesn’t happen like it should. So the house gets a good once over.
Then there’s also the typical “let’s organize everything!” that usually comes as a resolution to purge and sort the junk in our lives.
But the “greenness” comes even more in this weird craving/urge I get to buy houseplants and set up an aquarium. I know it’s some sort of subconscious metaphor to go somewhere tropical. My inner conscious is telling me I need to be surrounded by lush plant life and snorkel in turquoise water with clown fish.
But since that’s not likely to happen this year, I guess a beta fish and a few potted succulents will have to do. Bam! Tropical paradise Michigan style!
Another part of the Green Wave is fantasizing about the coming spring.
Many times amidst the Christmas stupor the first seed catalog comes and my head stops spinning and I remember that there will be life yet again after shopping and wrapping and baking and decorating.
I also love thinking about what chicks we will be hatching/adding to our spring flock. I was pregnant last spring so we kept the farm expansion to a minimum. We didn’t breed our dairy goats or hatch out any new chicks, and the garden was a flop. It was a tough pregnancy, I was pretty much immobile for a good part of it and it drove me crazy.
I was disappointed not to see the farm brimming with new life last year, but I was brimming with new life, (in fact, at times it felt as though it was spilling over) so I focused on our baby and this new chapter in our lives.
But this year…
This year as far as our flock goes I’m getting really focused. I’m on a waiting list for some good quality Buff Orpington hatching eggs, a breed that I’ve wanted to specialize in as long as I can remember.
For the rest of our flock I’d like to concentrate on egg color along with good quality birds.
We did some work on our coop last year, building separation pens for each breed that I’d like to raise. I’ll talk more about that in future posts and do a coop tour, but for now, the plan is to focus on quality and if I have to wait a few years before I find the birds I’m looking for, then so be it.
This is my plan as of yet:
Buff Orpingtons for show and brown eggs
French Black Copper Marans for dark eggs
Cream Legbars for blue eggs
Leghorns for white eggs
Easter Eggers and Olive Eggers for green eggs (This is the only breed that I’m not so worried about the lines. I could get some quality Ameraucanas but if I’m going to be mixing them with Marans for Olive Eggers, I’m not too worried about the Standard.)
What breeds are you planning on adding to your flock this year? Share in a comment below, or visit the Community Chickens Facebook Page.