As you can see above, another batch of Speckled Sussex chicks has arrived at the farm. These tiny ladies (well, we're 90% sure they are all ladies) are already scratching, preening, peeping and perching under the heat lamp down in the tackroom. And thank goodness for that heat lamp -- the little ones have been oblivious to the downpours, high winds, and tornado warnings outside! It will be fun to watch their feathers emerge, and when they're a little older, to watch them follow the adult hens around the barnyard.
The joint Master of Foxhounds of the Norfolk Hunt Club, Owen Hughes, visited me for a week and it was fun to show him around the farm and let him visit his old customers -- he was the horses' farrier in Massachusetts. Owen used EKF as a base of operations in the search for potential hunt mounts for several Norfolk members. He traveled from Sperryville to North Garden trying out horses for sale, and I went along when I had time. There are lots of nice horses in Virginia, but of course, everyone has their own requirements: some people don't want a gray because they're hard to keep clean (I hunt a gray and a pinto); some folks are choosy about a particular breed (my motto is handsome is as handsome does); some don't want a mare (all I have to say to that is one word -- PUNGO). Well, you can perceive that personal opinion matters quite a bit!
My pastures are full, though, so I was only windowshopping. On Thursday, Zender and I joined Owen for a morning's hunting near Free Union, Virginia. We enjoyed a delicious and bountiful breakfast following the meet, which probably sustained Owen for the long drive back up north. Hopefully, he'll return soon with his friends to try out the horses that showed promise.