Wilsonville filled with Easter spirit

Published 4:47 pm Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter rings in the beginning of Spring and the rebirth of flowers, trees and of course animals.

Just ride through the town and take in the smell of the fresh flowers in bloom on the dogwood trees, and notice the bees at work pollinating each bloom.

Birds flutter about taking in the warm sun. If you stay outside long enough, you may even see bunny rabbits in the wooded forests.

The one place that is definitely buzzing with customers and Easter critters right now is McEwen’s and Sons.

The Easter bunny has certainly visited them, and they now have their first shipment of more than 100 baby chicks and ducks for this season. Mallards, Italian Runners, White Rocks, and Rhode Island Reds are just a few of the many breeds.

“They’re easy; you lose some but not that many. Just give them food and water,” Frank McEwen said about raising them.

He also explained the importance of having heat lamps to keep them warm until they grow enough feathers, which is usually the most crucial the first three weeks of age. If you have a tub with wood chips, that’s really, all you need to store them if you keep them clean.

“They grow so fast,” McEwen said.

Although most businesses sell all roosters, or half male and half female, these are all bullets (females) which is preferred by many since this way you get more eggs.

Around 21-22 weeks, they begin laying eggs. These currently lay brown eggs, but McEwen’s and Sons often carry breeds that lay blue and green eggs as well. The duck eggs are about twice the size of chicken eggs and have thicker yolk. They are great in Italian dishes with pasta.

These small animals have big personalities, too. McEwen described how his chickens at home may get out of their pen, go eat some grass, but then go right back to their same pen again at the end of the day. He has about 1,000 hens at home, which he will bring on request and sell for $10-$20. The small bullets he sells for $2 each, and the ducklings are $5. They will live for 5-10 years with the right care.

The baby chicks will continue to come in weekly and be available through the first of the summer.

Kennedy Tolbert is the new community columnist for Wilsonville. She can be reached at kennedytolbert@bellsouth.net.