Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Poultry Oops

So, um, did I post about the ducks?  And then the chicks arriving?  And then my hen Golden Claw deciding that NOW would be the perfect time to set on 8 eggs?  (She had 11, but I stole the three white ones because I don't want anymore TopHats or Andalusians).  Well, then she got off the nest for a drink about a week into this process, and two of her buddies decided to lay more eggs in her nest.  I had stupidly NOT dated the ones she already had, so she is sitting on 10, but only 8 of them are going to hatch, at most.  Still, that is 15 ducks, 8 laying hens, 19 Red Ranger meat birds,  and 9 Wyandotte chicks all currently clucking, plus whatever Goldie hatches on or about May 10.

In the future, I will NEVER get ducks so early in the year that I have to keep them in the laundry room, because they are messy, smelly and loud.  Instead, I will get them after May 1, and slaughter them in July... Except any I keep for eggs, because I ate a duck egg for the first time last week (not one of ours) and it was good.  One duck egg and two slices of bacon is a good size breakfast.  I have to admit I was surprised at the size of the egg, and the yolk in particular. 

At least only the Wyandottes and the crippled duckling (at night) are still in the laundry room.  It just sounds like more because the Pirate has taken up crowing to express herself when she isn't singing the "I want a horse" song...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My own Duck Dynasty

Um, not really.  I just moved the ducklings out of the laundry room into the little coop (formerly known as Chicken Ghetto).  I set them up with two heat lamps because they are 25 days old (ish) and it's going to be pretty chilly tonight.  When I checked them at 8PM, they were bedded down, but not huddled under the lamps (which are on one side of the coop, leaving them room to get away it that is too hot for them).  They weren't panting, either, so that must be a good temp for them.

The chicks in the laundry are so quiet in comparison, I keep peeking in on them to make sure they are all right.  Well, maybe I'm doing it because they are cute.  Well, mostly cute.  I had one crawl up my jacket sleeve trying to escape treatment for pasted butt.  (Exactly.  Warm, wet cloth on back end til clean.)  All the others are nice and clean and peeping quietly.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Which comes first, chicken or egg?

Around here, the chicks come first, then the chickens, then the eggs.  Thirty two-day-old chicks arrived safely this morning, and are now peeping away in the laundry room with the ducklings.  There are 20 Red Rangers (straight run) for meat, five Blue-laced Red Wyandottes (straight run), four Silver-laced Wyandottes (because the hatchery sent an extra roo), and one unknown exotic chick (also straight run) that looks like a Speckled Sussex (because that is what I want it to be, according to the Princess).  Actually it is a very brown chick, lightening into gold on its belly, and I couldn't find too many truly brown chicks on the website besides the Sussex, and possibly the Aruacana, since they can look like anything, from the pics online.  I'd be fine with an Aruacana, too, since I think the colored eggs are fun.  Anyway, I'm off to shove three of my Partridge Rock hens in the car to go to some friends, which will reduce my layers to eight, until the new chicks grow up.  Then I'll have to eat a couple roosters so everything will fit in the coop for next winter.  If that isn't counting my chicks too soon after hatching...