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ctw1949
Certified organic poultry farmer in SE Mass

St. Patrick's Day rain
It is raining today. The way I feel inside. today, I will sell Sir Walter Drake and one white Muscovy duck. I have had Walter for many years and he is a good drake. Not aggressive with people, he is pure white except for one dark feather in his back. He has managed to father over 100+ ducklings and keeps the girls in line. They will miss him since breeding season has started. I can only hope the man who takes him does what he says he is going to do, that is to keep him for breeding and not send him to the oven. I will miss Walter. He is friendly and will eat corn out of my hand, always wags his tail in thanks. This selling off my poultry is hard for me, but must be done so I can move on.
Warm March day
Finally! Warmth from the sun and temperatures above freezing in the same day! It was a beautiful day! Snow is slowly melting off roofs and icicles formed as the sun set. Since I have culled or sold over 3/4 of my chickens, time spent on the farm grows less and less. Company stopped in, so I am going for now
March is marching in with snow
More snow in late Jan & all of Feb, then into March. Snow piles are taller than I. Roofs are caving in all over the state. Hard times on the farm with all the drifting. Everyone is tired of winter. "Spring ahead" happens this weekend but there is nothing to spring over. The Red-Winged Blackbirds are here, nothing to eat. I dug out some suet and the suet feeder from the depths of the freezer and put it out. I have sold all but 14 Dominique layers and one Dominique rooster, a pair of Narragansett turkeys, the Muscovy flock and my equipment. As the snow melts and the spring lurks (somewhere, but not here), I am hoping that all will be sold soon so I can continue with my life. Have to get to the farm for late-day feeding and lock up. More later.
Comet
Has anyone seen the comet? I read about it on a local Public Radio station's website. It is in the sky for only a few more days, maybe a week or more. It would be found by looking at the constellation Orion, finding the three stars that are h\the belt and following these three stars in a direct line to the comet.

Binoculars will probably assist in finding this green comet. Let me know if anyone sees it.
Real Winter has arrived
It got cold on Monday night. Early Tuesday, it was cloudy but still pretty cold. I loaded up 5 more hens for slaughter, took them to their transport, their last ride. By the end of Tuesday, it was getting bitter cold. Wednesday morning, temps were in the low single numbers and the wind came up mid-day. Wednesday evening, the sky clouded over and an Alberta Clipper came in from the west. I saw it coming as I was chipping ice out of the water bowls, clouds looming black and dark from the west. I knew what to expect as the snow started to swirl in the wind. Everything was quickly coated with fluffy snow, then it stopped snowing. The whole thing was over in less than 20 minutes. But the snow stayed around for the night, evaporating in the early morning sun. I have been taking the last four pullets out of their condo unit and putting them into the large coop for warmth each night for the past three nights. They object, but they are better off without all the drafts in their condo. Wild Thing, the one pullet who roosted in the Mulberry tree was put into the coop for three nights straight before she decided she would go into the large coop by herself has shown me she is smarter than some who would not go inside to roost. This morning, the thermometer said 0 degrees. I know the wind chill factor was probably -20 since I heard it howling all night. I think of the turkeys, all outside! 5 wild turkeys roost in the evergreen trees, the tom Narry on top of one of the truck caps and the hen Narry on top of the garage peak. They are all waiting for me every morning, discussing my arrival as I get out of the car. I quickly dole out corn and layer pellets, then head to fill the water jugs so they can have a drink. Yesterday's water has left a rim of ice inside the water bowls.

It is crazy, but two of the Muscovy ducks are laying eggs! I am lucky if the eggs are not frozen when I arrive since ducks lay in the darkest part of the night, then leave the eggs where they were laid. Several times before, the eggs have frozen when I neglect to pick them up as soon as I see them, even eggs in the hen house will freeze if not collected and taken inside to warm conditions as soon as I find them.

This cold is hard on the animals! The kitty is waiting for me, having slid out of the camper window long before dawn to hunt. There is another feral cat around now, he fights with "my" kitty and marks all over the place. The other day, he market on the camper door where kitty eats and sleeps.

I haven't seen the old, female kitty that the fat man shunts out to the make-shift shed by his back door in a few days. At least, not since it got so cold. I feed her twice a day since the fat man doesn't seem to be able to remember her. Often, her water is frozen solid and he leaves her litter pan soiled for many weeks before cleaning it. This old kitty has breast cancer and is so thin, she is like a wisp of fur. She is very friendly and purrs when picked up.

I wonder how it is up in the northern part of the state? I think of Pam R and how much colder it is up there...and if there has been any substantial snowfall? Did I see your pix on Linkedin?

Well, I shall close for today. Almost time to check to see if the water is frozen in the poultry yard.