Today we welcomed a grand total of 13 chicks into the world. One chick didn't make it through the hatching process, and we have 11 eggs left in the incubator that have not hatched yet (including the one duck egg, which still has not pipped).
As a Mother's Day gift, Tony attempted to set up the brooder in the barn. He got the basic portion done anyway. The sides and the bottom. He had hoped to build a hinged top to allow us to close it, but he ran out of time.
The low tonight is 50. I put four of the best feathered cockerels out in the brooder. All four promptly flew out. One wandered out of the bunny barn and our dog (Moose) tried to eat it. Luckily #3 was home and told him to drop it, looked it over, and put it back in the brooder. It was unharmed, albeit a lot more slobbery than before. Hopefully the bird learned not to play with the dog, and I really hope the dog understands the new chicks will command the same respect (not a toy) as the big chickens do.
Tonight when I put in the heat lamp (which we had to run to town to buy), three of the cockerels were in the brooder with the mean gosling. I had planned to leave the gosling outside, but now I'm feeling like a bad person because he's not fully feathered yet. Even with a 250 watt heat bulb, I'm not sure 50 degrees is going to be something he can tolerate yet. I'd feel terribly guilty if he died because of it. I'll go get him out of the barn and bring him back to the "kennel of shame" in the basement brooder for the night. He can go back outside tomorrow. It's supposed to be 79 degrees, so he should be fine during the day.
One garden bed at a time. I figure if I put in a little work here and there one bed at a time, I'll get things going a lot faster than trying to do things here and there in all the beds at once. I also want to put in a garden bed underneath the kitchen window facing the lake. I'd love to have a little herb garden there. Space for perennials, and space for annuals to be added in each year. Sage, thyme, basil, rosemary, chives, oregano, lavender, lemon balm... all just outside the door. I imagine it would smell nice when the breeze came in through the kitchen window too. I also want to put in a space for catnip - but I'm not sure the barn cats would let it grow enough to sustain it as a perennial patch. Would it be completely diabolical to plant that patch just outside the preferred lookout window of the indoor cats?