Remind me again why we placed the eggs in the incubator so they were scheduled to hatch during the last week of school??
Mama Rock has been doing a great lil' job of protecting and mothering her six hatchlings from a week ago. When our incubator started hatching out a couple of days early, I got caught in a moment of unpreparedness. Originally, our hatchlings were going to be housed in the brooder box, but when Mama Rock started worrying me about her (lack of) level of protection for her babies due to the concern of owls, fox and other predators, we moved HER into the brooder box.In the past, we've set up a simple cardboard box with a heat lamp for new chicks until they were big enough to be housed elsewhere.
We have NO boxes big enough to house much more than a couple of chicks. PLUS, the heat lamp is rigged up in the brooder box, and with Paul working, I wasn't about to try to unrig it. Besides, extra time was nonexistent this past week between final school days and athletics.
SO..., Wednesday morning, after waking at 2AM worried about what I was going to do with the couple handfuls of chicks that had hatched Monday evening and Tuesday already... the decision was made! I was going to see if Mama Rock would simply adopt new additions.
Like. A. Boss! (LOL)
Fourteen were given to her Wednesday morning, bringing the total to 20 babies.
Thursday morning, ummm....I THINK we added another 7. (27 total)Thursday evening, we handed her another 7 that were hatched out in Caitlyn's class incubator from our donated eggs. (34 total)
And then after that.... I lost track.
Sadly, somewhere along the way, a few perished for one reason or another....
But finally, last night (Friday), a final late hatchling was added to the, now stable, posse of two-legged lil' fluff balls.
Cassie and I did a quick count, and we THINK there are 33 chicks fighting for tuck-time under (or around) Mama. I wish I had had some light last night to capture a picture of Mama tucked into the safety of the corner with chicks under and surrounding her. It truly was an 'awwwwwwe' moment.
The 'insurance' tomatoes have grown considerably this past week after being transplanted into 3-4" paper pots last Sunday. Today marks week #3 since having been planted as seeds. They were fed with some fertilizer directly after transplanting, which in addition to being pampered in a warm, humid greenhouse under grow-lights, has helped their growth tremendously! I am thinking one more week of pampering is needed before starting the hardening-off process. I predict in about 10 days, these 52 plants (we lost one) will find themselves in the garden.
School is over for the 2014-15 year. Candace brought home an art project that I truly can't WAIT to try out! It's a yarn bowl! Clearly a third-grader creation, but FUNCTIONAL! I love it! I predict this will be used and used and used for many years in the future.
The anxiety of the school year hasn't quite 'left the building' yet. In fact, I spent about 45 minutes this morning just perusing through all my students' final grades, curious to see how they finished the school year in other classes/subjects. I have plans to spend time in school on Tuesday, doing final organization of the classroom, but to also look ahead to the first couple of weeks of AP-Statistics for the next school year.
However, decompressing WILL commence today as 'all-hands-on-deck' take over in the garden! The last of the seed planting is on the agenda, in addition to getting all-n-everything out and organized into the garden plots. Peppers, cabbage, broccoli (grrr! Yup, we ended up buying plants after Ruby chicken decided to indulge herself on mine grown from seed), peas and pea-fencing, rigging more tomato fencing, hose organization and layout.....