Showing posts with label ducks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ducks. Show all posts

Friday, December 16, 2011

Predators, broody mamas, and duck eggs... Oh My!

Petunia my lone Embden goose
My chickens (from L to R) Faline Dominique, Simba Brahma Roo, Nala Dominique, and Precious Americauna.

Well I usually do not post more than once a day, but after all the excitement with my animals this week, I needed to write a quick update!

This year Craig and I took another stab at raising pet chickens. We got 4 day-old chicks in the mail this past April. One chick died, and the others thrived. Then steadily over the next two months we expanded to include 5 chickens (one Brahma rooster, two Dominiques, a leghorn, and an Americauna),  a pair of Muscovy ducks, a pair of Embden geese, and three rabbits. 

We lost one goose and most recently my leghorn to predators- despite our best attempts to protect them. We replaced our goose Henry with a Chinese goose. However, Henry II since then has been respectfully culled, as we intended from the get go. (I will write another post on that later but basically we as a family would like to be closer to the process of how we obtain meat in order to be more conscious consumers).

But with planned and unplanned loss, unexpected life springs! Just this past week both my Muscovy duck hen and Americauna hen have gone broody!! While my duck, Strawberry, did not set sadly- my Americauna hen, Precious, has and seems to be a great Momma. 

Duck eggs

Our duck eggs, all 5, are in an incubator and we will candle them in another four days to see if they are developing. As for the 15 eggs Precious laid, she is happily taking care of them on her own. I hope she keeps it up too because we only have on incubator and the duck eggs have to be at a higher temperature. 

Needless to say it has been an exciting and exhausting week. I find it so so funny that Precious went broody first. Not only is she my youngest and smallest hen, but until now she had never laid an egg. Since it got cold, all my hens stopped laying so I just assumed she'd start in the spring- since she is much younger then my Dominiques. Well, I guess she was saving up. 

Now that I think back on her behavior this week and today it does make sense that she was broody. Not only did she have an egg waiting for me in her cage, but once I let her out she immediately went to the brush pile she loves and skipped her food! 

Imagine my surprise when I go out to get her tonight and find this there (when it was empty this morning)!! So here is hoping we get some chick and duckling in the next 20-35 days or so. I am excited and learning so much by all of this. Raising poultry sure is fun. 

Precious' eggs

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Geese, Ducks, and Rabbits oh-my!

Our nameless Americauna chick, suggestions?

I think the title of this post pretty much sums up what I am going to say :) Today Deirdre and I took a mommy-daughter day trip to West Point. The local tack and feed store there was hosting a poultry swap and we wanted to go check it out! After learning a little bit more about chicken's pecking order and seeing how unhappy Snow White was, we wanted to get her a little friend close to her age. 

Chickens, especially young ones, are social flock animals. When one is isolated, it causes undue stress and weight loss.  I tried 'look but don't touch' with Snow White and my other chickens, but it did not work and they continued to peck her badly. So we have to wait to introduce her once she is full grown and can peck back. In the meantime however she was not happy,and since we want her to be happy and lay eggs, we needed to get her a friend chick close to her age. After learning that the feed store where we got Snow White had no more chicks this season, we started looking elsewhere for a friend. Then this swap popped up, so off we went! 

It only took about an hour to get to West Point. It was just so beautiful there. Deirdre aptly commented "Mommy its so beautiful here. God did a really good job on this one". Sadly I forgot to take photos! I was just so enamored with all of the animals. 

The store was easy enough to find and it was packed! It was at the first stall, yeah that's right I did not make it past the first stall, where I saw the Americauna chicks. My mind was made up then and there. You see while I now have Dominique hens, we at first wanted Easter Eggers. Our Hatchery however did not have any left when it came time for me to order. Plus I was very happy with my Dominiques, they are so sweet! 

So instead of leaving with one Americauna chick, we got A pair of geese, a pair of ducks, a new doe meat rabbit, and our one Americauna chick. Craig had been commenting on how he wanted a turkey or goose to raise for Christmas, and he even tried to catch a baby duck at work. So when I brought these babies home, he wasn't shocked. He was actually pleasantly surprised, especially by the sweet geese and meat rabbit. Well, heck he liked them all. So now we are making plans for all of our new editions! Right now they are playing in our baby pool on the back porch and loving it! 

From left to right: Raspberry, Strawberry, Petunia, and Charles

Laying her head in my hand sweetly! 

Snow White: the white leghorn

Brownie: the New Zealand doe

Duffy: The Dutch Doe and my nemesis due to her being an escape artist! 

Cicero aka Fluffy: the Lionhead Buck

My big babies! Faline, Nala, and Simba.

And, I finished the Oliver and S bucket hat!