First Batch of Chicks For 2022

Video taken on 2022-05-25 to document when I got this batch of chicks into the brooder. My sister hatched them from my leghorn eggs. I had originally ordered a straight run of light brown Leghorn chicks from the local feed store but was told the hatcheries they use were out this year and wouldn’t have any in stock until next year.

The reason I wanted more chicks was because I wanted a bigger more apt leghorn rooster. Last years prize Leghorn rooster had become injured and had to be put down. The backup Leghorn rooster, however, was a runt, and never grew into a confident take-charge rooster. I also have a few Buff Orpington/Leghorn mixed hens I’d like to give away, and move fully into a leghorn only flock.

When the feed store notified me about the shortage of light brown Leghorns, my flock was roostered by a Buff Orpington/Leghorn cross my sister had hatched for me last year. He had easily dominated the weaker secondary Leghorn rooster, but was bringing the hens up to me any time I was around. I don’t like that. I prefer the roosters to keep the flock away from me while I am outside. So, I put him down, then waited over 2 weeks before starting to collect eggs to hatch. (To give the weaker Leghorn enough time to mate with all the Leghorn hens.)

I’m just posting this here for my own personal record, so next year I can jog my memory if need be. So now I’m hoping to get 2 good Leghorn roosters. The sad thing is, 18 eggs went into lockdown out of 24, and of the 18, only eight survived. I was hoping for a much better survival rate, so despite how late in the year it is, I’ll be taking another two dozen eggs to my sister for incubation and hatching. I guess that’s why they say “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”.

To Hobby or Not

Here I sit in the heart of winter with nothing to do. I spend my free time contemplating the future. I have a little over two feet of snow outside, this Ground Hog day, and temperatures below 0°C. That’s freezing if you didn’t know. Most of my hobbies are outdoor, warmer weather, sunny day hobbies. Like, Gardening, Beekeeping, and herding my flocks.

This winter is different though. I am on the brink of retirement. Will it happen this year? I do not know. I am content to wait, but I’m not sure I can be as patient as I need to accept yet another winter. Still, there are a few more ‘dominoes’ I want to have in place before I tip that first one over; A few more ‘floaties’ before the big plunge. I can wait one more year, but I don’t want to.

If I pull my trigger too soon, I risk missing my target. That’s where my hobbies come. Hobbies Slow me down, and give me time to think and appreciate. They are a necessary distraction to the agony of waiting for retirement. I enjoyed last years turkey herding, and beekeeping. Gardening last year was a disaster, but I enjoyed the two previous years.

So here’s the dilemma, If I choose not to garden this year, I may grow too impatient for retirement and end up jumping the gun. If I choose to garden, and the opportunity for retirement arises, then I’ll have to abandon the garden and will receive no fruits of the labor. The same goes for the beekeeping, and turkey raising.

One has to outweigh the other.

There is also timing and cost to consider. If I choose to get more bees, and build up a few more hives, I have to commit now, like within the week. Committing now, means spending now. Hobbies are expensive. I want at least three new hives. That’s an expense of $375 for the bees, and another $225 in hive kits. Do I want to spend that much right now, on the off-chance my retirement plans do not fall into place this year?

The same goes for getting more birds. I love the chickens, and I did enjoy last years turkeys, even though it was a massive learning curve between raising the two. I learned my lessons, and this year I would like to take the opportunity to apply what I learned. Just like the bees, commitment is required now. The expense is $207 plus shipping (I presume) for the birds, and another $300 for a new coop. Do I want to spend that much right now, on the off-chance my retirement plans do not fall into place this year?

Its similar with gardening. You don’t realize it until you start, but gardening is expensive. I’m not going to add up the cost of seeds, though it is higher than you’d think. The main purchase I need this year, is a rototiller, $800 right off the bat. Do I want a rototiller? Yes. Will I have use for a rototiller on my catamaran? No. At least the rototiller won’t be needed ’till April (pun intended). Do I want to spend that much right now, on the off-chance my retirement plans do not fall into place this year?

I am leaning towards gardening this year, but not for canning. That’s the way I did it the first two years, and it worked out good. I am leaning toward getting the bees too, for pollination. For those two hobbies, once the money is spent, there is no farther monetary expense. After that, it’s all about managing time. Unless I install an automated sprinkler system, which I will be able to this year, watering the garden is the greatest tax upon my time. Moving the sprinkler every 15 minutes for 3 hours straight is also very disruptive.

At least my other hobbies are not time limited, and I can take them with me when I retire. I’m talking about amateur radio and beer-making…