Last March, our seven hens were the only livestock living at 1840 Farm. Now we have a small herd of three Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats living in the barn alongside a French Angora rabbit that produces beautiful fiber for spinning and felting. Following the arrival of our first goat kids last October, their mother, Violet, has been providing delicious fresh milk for our family. Her daughter Zinnia is providing an infusion of toddler-like cuteness and comic relief to the barnyard.
In September, Hurricane Irene came calling and we worried for the safety of the coop and our beloved hens. We listened to her winds batter the world outside and hoped that the coop would still be standing even after we had seen that some of our oak trees and power lines were not.
It wasn’t long after we had recovered from Irene that fall and the subsequent winter season were upon us. We hurried to finish the enclosed run we had designed for the coop and hoped that our girls would be able to enjoy being outdoors even in the cold and snowy weather that New England winters are famous for. We completed their run and fitted it with a water-resistant tarp. They have been treated to an entire winter season outside without having to endure the snowy earth that encompassed their coop.
While these routines seem, well routine, this spring will be far from ordinary here. In addition to the first day of spring, there is another day highlighted on our farm calendar. Monday, April 30, 2012, is the day that our baby chicks are expected to hatch. May Day could prove to bring big excitement in small, fluffy packages to 1840 Farm.
I hope that you’ll join me over the next 12 months to see what A Year in the Life at 1840 Farm will hold for our new chicks. There will be daily updates on Facebook and recurring posts for CommunityChickens.com to share what I learn along the way. I’ll be using our BirdCam to catch photos and videos of our flock members both old and new to understand what goes on in the coop when the farmer is away.