Chickens Day 1

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” 
― Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday I bought five Barred Rock chickens – that’s not accurate – I bought five Barred Rock pullets or chicks. This means, that the chicks are so young that they can’t go outside for two months.

They have to be kept in the house under heat at 95-degrees for the next four weeks. They must be fed special starter feed. So by the time they are old enough to eat beetles, my hives will have either overcome the beetles on their own or perished. 

What have I done?

“If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly first.”  Joel Salatin

I’m on the proverbial fence when it comes to Joel Salatin but I like the logic of this quote. I wanted chickens because I think they might help with the beetles but the more research I have done, the more I think that other livestock might be part of my future as sort of an insurance policy against bad bee years.

Of course I live in town, so live stock is problematic. Nonetheless, I need to get my feet wet and, as they say, Chickens are a gateway drug. 

I have a lot of plates in the air already. I work full-time as a Safety Man, I teach part-time, I am trying to get my bee business going… there are also the family obligations of course… not to mention I have two pet projects that I work on when I have time (my next novel and mechanical puzzle that I hope to one day patent)… now I have chickens. Only time will tell if this is a mistake or the first step in a new direction.


Hive-VD giggle giggle
is still alive

My grafts from last Wednesday did’t take. However, there seems to be a good reason – It turns out that Hive-A.1.VHS already has a queen in it. I didn’t find her but there are four frames of brood in the hive. We made the split on June 7th. So when we first moved the hive we assumed it had a queen but on inspection, there was no sign of eggs. It had only been (21) days so that makes sense. Nonetheless she is laying now.

This is a good thing. Sure I didn’t have any successful grafts but I did get some grafting practice. Now this Wednesday, I will get to try it again.

On a side note: This weekend was hotter than midget porn – mid 90’s with 80% humidity. Saturday, I worked in my backyard apiary for about an hour then commenced digging post holes for my new mating nuc stand. The roots where thick as a Delta welfare line and by the second hole I had broken my shovel. Tired of the heat and drenched in sweat, I called it a day. 

Sadly, Sunday I accomplished even less. This weekend the heat won.

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