Beware the Ides of March certainly applies to Maine as we are once again in the middle of a large snow storm. When I went to the barn to take care of the girls this afternoon there was already nine inches of snow and the winter storm warning is not due to expire until 11:00 pm this evening. Despite the snow as you can see the birds are still hitting the feeders.
Despite the fact that it is snowing Spring is due to come around eventually. Soon it will be time to get the seeds for the garden started. I usually start the tomatoes, peppers and a few other veggies around April 1st. Since I don't dare plant outside here in central Maine until Memorial Day for fear of frost, I give my plants about a 8 week head start.
I placed our baby chick order this week for delivery in April. I was hoping to get the new chicken house built this week but obviously it is a bit hard to build on top of a couple feet of snow. I will be able to get the new loft put up in the barn though even if I have to work in a bit of cold. We have a 10 foot ceiling on the first floor so we are going to put up a 16 ft. by 4 ft. loft up about 3 feet from the ceiling. This loft will be used to store our bags of shavings. We used to be able to buy shavings by the truck load for a fair price from the local lumber yard but since pellet stoves have become so popular all those shavings are going to the pellet makers. Now we purchase our shavings by the bag. It actually makes them much easier to handle and much easier to store. We no longer have to shovel them out of the back of the truck into the storage bin.
A second building project inside the barn will be the addition of another chick brooder. Our flock is expanding and the April order will have 58 birds in it. The one brooder we have will be okay for a week or two with that many in it but as soon as the chicks begin to grow there will not be enough room.
It has been a tough winter on the laying hens. There have been many, many days of really cold weather as well as wind. They sure don't want to be outside in that kind of environment. So, not only are we here in the house looking forward to Spring but I know the girls are too. Well, here is what we hope to see real soon.