Corn sprouting in the field and new chickens in the mail

It has been cool and rainy here from May 30 to June 10 the time when I typically get most of my seeds and plants in the ground. The average low was 45 and the average high 61. There were a few mornings with frost in low areas. It rained a lot and many days were cloudy so the ground warmed very slowly.

This has been and still is a very busy week here trying to catch up with planting. At last the temperatures are in the (low) 70’s and even at night it is in the 50’s. My Painted Mountain Corn planted on May 27 has germinated. The first shoots appeared on June 10. Germination started fourteen days after planting but with soil temperatures in the 50’s I think that is not so bad. Now it appears that almost every kernel planted (somewhere between 1,600 and 1,800) is coming up. The first small shoots of the potatoes planted on May 27 began breaking through the soil on June 13. I’m still waiting for the winter squash to come up. I planted pre-sprouted seeds which usually works well even in cool weather. A check under the soil today showed they were ready to break from their hulls and emerge from the soil.

Yesterday and today, June 12 and 13, are the latest I have ever planted summer squash and bean seeds and tomato plants. But until yesterday that was out of the question. The air and soil temperatures were simply too cold. Squash seeds would have rotted and the tomatoes would have been hit by frost.

On Monday my new chickens arrived in the mail. A tiny and flimsy looking cardboard box held the 30 newly hatched Americauna chicks. But all were alive when I picked them up from the post office at 7:30 AM. I got them home and into their “pen”, a plastic wading pool surrounded with some extra fencing and carpet pieces for protection. Overhead I hung a heat lamp to keep them warm. The chicks are all doing very well. I’m hoping that these will make it to adulthood and that the disaster that happened last year will not be repeated. Right now I am feeding them cooked brown rice and split peas with yogurt, peanut butter, and squash added. They like it and it is easy to digest. As they get larger I’ll be transitioning them to a diet of cracked grains (wheat, peas, sunflower seeds, oats) and eventually merge them with my old flock.

My new Americauna chicks in their wading pool nursery.
My new Americauna chicks in their wading pool nursery.

5 thoughts on “Corn sprouting in the field and new chickens in the mail

  1. Your babies probably enjoy the variety of food… My babies get standard feed, but lots of produce!!! The americauna breed is so varied with different colors… Too cute!

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    1. I love the Americaunas. Small birds, tame, and they lay a lot of eggs. This latest batch I got has colors not in my first one so it will be interesting as they get older.

      I mix up my feed here in a wheelbarrow and then put into bags. I measure out the ingredients to be sure the protein and other major nutrients are right. A bit of work but that’s ok.

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  2. Clever to use the wading pool for a nursery. Your chick feed is very interesting. Where do you purchase your grains that you use for feed? Do you supplement your older hens with anything?

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    1. Thanks! I chose the pool because it was round and thought that with no corners the chances of little chicks piling into one would be less. I by most of the grains from a local feed mill and a few like sunflower seeds and beet pulp from a farm/hardware store (the prices for these are lower there). The split peas and rice are regular human food I buy in bulk. I get 20 pound bags of rice from the grocery store (I eat a lot of rice) and the slit peas I order in 50 pound bags online. The hens get a mix of whole peas, cracked corn, wheat, oats, sunflower sees, and beet pulp with salt and kelp meal. In the summer they have a pasture planted with clover and grass and I also feed them lawn clippings. I also feed them leftover yogurt (I make my own) and any overgrown veggies from the garden.

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