A gaggle, a clutch, a litter… and an adoption

Things have been VERY busy and exciting around the farm this past week. My heart is mending after loosing Fig because I’m now surrounded by many, many new additions, and they are all completely adorable!

As I mentioned before, Fig and Hemy’s kittens were born last Sunday. Two are orange tabbies like their daddy and two are mostly white with orange tinges on their backs. It looks like we’ve got 3 boys and a girl, and one of the orange ones is polydactyl (has extra toes on his front feet) like his mother and Tommy, who is Hemy’s son from a previous litter. They are now a week old and growing like crazy. All of their eyes are now open.

Saturday morning, I got up bright and early to go to a poultry swap over in Dandridge. It was supposed to start at 7 and I got there at 7:45. One of my BYC friends was there with a few birds to sell, but no one else. I just knew I had missed it, like I missed the previous sale I went to. Turns out, I was just EARLY- something that never happens. I hung around a bit looking at the birds that were on sale at the feed store that was hosting the swap and finally saw some that I just had to have.

A lady and her family had a trio of big beautiful blue Wyandottes, a rooster and 2 hens. I wanted them so bad, but I really really don’t need another rooster at the moment. I told her I’d hate to buy the hens and not the rooster, since people seldom buy single roosters. She said “I’ve got the perfect thing then” and pulled out 2 2.5 month old pullets that were out of the trio she was selling. I instantly purchased them for $4 each (which I felt like was a total steal)! They are beautiful little girls, but they are very shy around me at the moment. They are bunking in with Madeline right now, so I’m hoping that we can get to know each other soon.

Several days ago, another BYC friend, Karen, was gracious enough to choose me as the new home for a pair of tufted Roman geese that her brother-in-law had given them. Karen and her husband were starting to fall in love with these goofy geese, but they live on a very busy road and didn’t want to have to keep the geese penned up all the time. I was so excited, and grateful, to be getting them. Thanks Karen!

I decided that they’d be a surprise for my mom for Mother’s Day. I had planned to get my dad’s car all cleaned up and sneak off to pick them up on Saturday, but my parents didn’t end up going to the polo match that was being held on the farm so I had to improvise… I showed up to Karen’s with a hatchback full of chairs and golf gear and just plunked those geese straight in the back! Thank god to waterproof car interiors!

Made it home in one piece and gave my mom the big surprise. And she loved them! She’s decided to call them Ricky and Lucy (as in Ricardo). They are settling in nicely and have had visits from all the cats and dogs, which has been seriously entertaining. And my niece just adores them: they honk and she just giggles her cute little head off!

So, Sunday was Mother’s Day and it was WAY more hectic than I had anticipated. I had checked on Gretel before I went to bed the previous night and there were no signs of impending hatching. In the rush the next morning, I forgot to go see if anything was happening. When I got home at 4pm, I ran down to check and there was a little Mother’s Day present for me: one fluffy white chick and another in the process of coming out of it’s shell! Most exciting was that the second one was out of one of Gretel’s own eggs, which I didn’t think were going to hatch since they’d been refrigerated for 2 days before being sat on!

By the time I went to bed last night, there were 3 chicks hatched, 2 more pipped, and 2 that were taking their time. This morning, there were 6 chicks! All are beautiful and healthy looking. Now, we’re just waiting to see if lucky #7 hatches. Even if it doesn’t, our very first hatch on the farm has been a huge success!

UPDATE: #7 was a dud. But the six chicks are doing well and Gretel is being a wonderful mother, especially since it’s her first time!

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