I have come to realize that North Texas is not very sheep friendly when it comes to buying sheep supplies, if you want goat supplies, this is the place to be! Goat stuff everywhere. This past weekend, I went looking to buy electrolytes and get some more milk replacer for Delilah. I went to at least four maybe five farm feed stores looking for sheep electrolytes and her brand of milk replacer. At about the third store I was willing to buy any sheep specific milk replacer if I could find some, all I could find was calf and multi-purpose, and most of the multi-purpose had copper in them so they were out. I ended up making my own electrolytes, and bought a multi-purpose milk replacer that didn't have copper in it. I'm not thrilled about this, my lamb already has been battling scours, and changing brands on her is about the last thing I want to do but alas I have no choice. Ordering online will take too long and she needs milk replacer.
I've been thinking about getting some chickens and have been reading about them at Backyard Chickens . My first priority would be building a critter proof coop. My last two forays into chickens (once in Ontario, Canada and once here in Texas) both ended the same way. All my chickens fell victim raccoons. The raccoon here in Texas couldn't manage to get into the coop but he did manage to sucker the chickens into coming to the edges of the coop and there he beheaded them by yanking their heads off through the wire, he then pulled them through piece by piece. A nasty end to my chickens.
I'm actually thinking about hatching some chicken eggs. I remember doing (or should I say trying this, as a child. None of the eggs ever hatched but it was fun trying. It's no wonder when I think back on it, we really had no idea what we were doing, it would have been a miracle if ONE had actually hatched). I see on Backyard Chickens that people even ship eggs these days, that would save time (and gas) trying to find local eggs to hatch. At one of the feed stores that didn't have milk replacer I noticed a pile of Styrofoam boxes (the kind that vaccinations are shipped in to stay cool) piled up by the refrigerator. I inquired if I could take one and they said sure, so I picked one out and now have the first part on my materials list for an incubator.
So while I was in Tractor Supply looking for milk replacer, Katie and I were looking at all the little chicks. She thought they were all cute and wanted me to get some there and then. I explained that first we build the coop and then get chickens. At just that point a client of mine walked in and saw us looking at the chickens. "You want chickens she said, I can get you chickens, free". I cautiously asked "what kind of chickens" as we had already decided there were some chickens more suited to our climate than others. "Laying chickens" , she said. I replied "yes, but what kind of laying chickens", showing her the chart conveniently posted in the store. She said "I don't know, different colors and they lay". Well I thought, free is free, we could try a couple. So a call was place to her friend with the extra chickens and she's going to bring out some chickens next Saturday.
Great what happened to building the coop first? I'm a CPA with April 18th (tax deadline is three days later than usual this year) looming very closer and I'm getting chickens delivered to me on April 16th? What am I thinking?