Once again, my blog posts have fallen behind, but that’s okay, since there’s more important things to be done around here than sitting at a computer and writing. But, I needed relax a little tonight after playing and trying to keep up with 4 young boys (not mine, a family we know). Finished the animal’s “feed prep” for Friday, got the eggs washed, and am waiting for supper, as Mom went to go find my brother Joel & hasn’t come back inside yet.
Anyways, lots been going on here – the previous post I wrote about phasing out the rabbits. What I didn’t mention, though, was that I’ve added 3 Narragansett Turkey poults, who were about 7 weeks old. It’s another one of my experiments, and we’ll decide by fall if they’re for the freezer or if I’ll keep all or some of them over the winter. I don’t know yet if they’re toms or hens, but the lady I got them from is only about 15 minutes away & said I could trade if I got too many of one gender. They’re in a semi-quarantine, in that they were totally separate for the first few days, but now share a fence line with the Swedish Flower Hens. But, the 3-some mostly stick together, wandering around – or pacing back and forth along the fence line – the grass paddock. They make unique little sounds, and are interesting to watch, especially since we can see them right out the back door/ porch.
I have broody hens galore, with all but one of the Muscovy ducks also broody. One of them doesn’t have eggs, 3 are sitting on eggs, and one is co-parenting ~12 little ducklings along with the broody hen who helped hatch the eggs. For the 1st two weeks, I plan to confine them, so the ducklings can get strong and hardy, before letting them explore with their moms. Otherwise, in years past I’ve lost ducklings due the mother duck taking a bath or being chased by Sir Francis & leaving the ducklings behind. All the chicks are out of the brooders, with the remaining young chicks being raised by broody hens. I finally made some creep feeders, so I can provide chick starter feed to the young’ins without the adults feasting on their higher protein and higher cost feed. So far it’s been working great, although once they reach a certain age they can’t fit, but still need the grower feed. That still needs to be worked on, but for now they’re eating the main flock’s feed that I mix with extra supplements, whole grains, etc to boost the protein content.