Friday, March 27, 2009

More rain and new chicks

Man, what a storm!  Wednesday, a storm blew in at work.  It was a helluva busy day with delivery after delivery after delivery.  The driveway was lined, both sides, with plants and we'd been trying to get them all put up all day when about 5:00 we started hearing about a storm in Marble Falls coming our way.  By 5:30, I looked up to see it ~ big, black, boiling clouds with that tornado green color that tells you something bad is in that storm.  I concentrated on getting in the fragile impatiens and geraniums that were covered in blooms that would easily be torn off by a hard rain.  Sharon and Lacey came out to take down anything tall that would be blow over, and we started getting the hanging baskets down and under cover.  Finally, we were done and I could go home.

When I got home, the rain gauge said 1.5"!  There might have been a bit of trash in it that altered the level, but not that much.  We definitely got over an inch.  Perfect!  My pastures are going to look so green in a few weeks, more than they already are.  

But then I noticed the hail.  Ouch!  Most of it was a bit bigger than a quarter, but many stones were as big as a fifty cent piece.  There wasn't a whole lot of it, but enough to have gathered in places on the porch where it was washed into clumps.  Once I noticed it, Kelly and Leslie started noticing it in the grass and elsewhere.  I checked my peppers I'd just set out last week and thank goodness there wasn't much damage.  Only one plant had half it's leaves torn off.  The herbs and other things looked pretty good still.  

Austin didn't fare as well ~ all along 183 rear windows of cars were knocked out, skylights and home windows broken.  As I watched the news, pictures started coming in from Marble Falls.  People's backyards looked like it had snowed.  Amazing.  

The weird thing?  This is one of the three worst hail storms on record for our area, and all were on March 25th.  Oooo-EEEEE-OOOOO-ooooo...

On a lighter note, I have new chicks!  Picked them up yesterday morning from Naumann Feed.  Aren't they cute?!  I can hear them chirping contentedly right now, in their homemade brooder in a chair in the kitchen. 

I've been needing a few more layers since I've started bartering with the eggs.  I'll be giving Brad a dozen a week for a while for fixing my computer, giving Kelly a dozen a week for my carpool contribution, and I just like to have some extra to give to Leslie and Rhonda every now and again.

I've got them in a homemade brooder right now, just a rubbermaid container.  It's easy to clean, so thisround of chick keeping should be easier.  You can see the lamp inside ~ there's a hundred watt incandescent bulb in there. The  jar on the right is the waterer ~ it's a metal thing that  screws onto a kerr jar of water.  Nifty.  And a LOT better than those crappy plastic ones I had last time.

Here's the container I'm talking about.  You can get them just about anywhere.  I think I'll need a bigger one soon, or maybe I'll just move half of them to another one.

Here's what I got ~ from the top: Black Jersey Giant, Buff Orpington, Cuckoo Maran and Ameraucana.

I got half a dozen straight run Jersey Giants and Orpingtons as I want to evaluate the males as meat birds and the pullets will make good layers.  I got half a dozen Ameracauna pullets to have blue and green eggs, and three Maran pullets to have those dark brown "chocolate" eggs.  They'll make cool surprises for Brad, Kelly, etc.  I think they'll like them.  I know I'll have fun with them.

And the guineas are laying! I got three eggs yesterday.  How cool!  Once I get these chicks outside, I think I'll start some guineas in the incubator.

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