We have been having a hectic few weeks. Our first issue with predators had us frantically trying to find time to not only finish the duck house, but to modify our original building plan. No longer a 3 sided box for getting out of the weather and keeping the eggs clean, but something predator proof as well. After the raccoon killed our young duck pair, we starting catching the ducks and crating them in the garage each night- it was a fun ;) 3 weeks.
But we finished painting it this last Friday, and my fantastic husband cleaned up the pen rearranged everything and set up his gutter system to have any rain we can get from the roof to help fill the pool. We have had such little rain this last winter I think everyone is expecting drought conditions this summer so we will have to wait for this fall/winter to see how much the little roof helps with the water bill.
I am feeling so relieved to be at the end of our duck dramatic evenings. ;) I am sure this girl is too. <3
I am so excited! After searching for over a year I found a drake I can start really moving forward with! A nice sized boy from Holderreads, that I was able to purchased locally from a lovely farming couple. Mission accomplished! Introducing.... Mr. Handsome. Please pardon his grumpy expression he was quite clear with our heeler that she was not welcome to come sniffing around.
Sharing a picture of "Lucky Duck" who wakes me every morning with a long sounding alarm call. She has a little story about her that some find fun.
It was June '14 and we were busy preparing for Fair, and with all that goes into that I was trying to find some ways to simplify. I was sure one of my last pair of ducklings was a drake. So I let the father go, as he was not of any quality. And his Drake ways were giving me more to do at home, when I should be doing other things. With in a week my hens from Holderread had started molting and stopped laying. I thought it such a blessing I had decided to cull the drake as I now had no eggs for him to fertilize.
Days go by, now here we are fair week. It is hot and we are out a lot with other projects, and my silkie will not leave the nest. Her brooding booty is firmly planted, she has no care in the world for any of her young adult babies, She. Wants. More! Though we had no plans to add to our load during the craziest month of our year, ( even more crazy then any December) Trying to convince her that now in the hottest month of the year, during the time of year NON of us have an extra minute to spare, that she should give up on her latest motherhood endeavor didn't sway her in the slightest.
It was almost a month of my drake being gone, and two weeks since my hens had been laying, but in exasperation, one morning on our way to the fairgrounds I tell the kids to go grab whatever duck eggs we have in the fridge and go give them to her. I thought hopefully the cold eggs would turn her off the idea, or what the heck- could they hatch? Almost a month since fertilization was a possibility, a two week old egg that had been refrigerated.... How lucky would we be to have that happen?
Through candling we know, one egg was infertile, one was a late death, one was obviously stolen by a critter and the last one we waited to see. We watched its fluttering heart beats and hoped this little one would make it. She hatched on Labor Day, I found her on evening rounds after we arrived home from a BBQ.
And though I racked my brain for something less corny, failed, as so she is named "Lucky Duck."
I am excited to finally being getting a website and blog going. I have wanted to for a while, and had a few people tell me I should, but boy it can be a scary idea.
I am learning how to put the pages together and busy editing photos so they look their best. I know there are holes in the info but I will try to get them filled in before February. I hope to kind of have a coming out party around then. Right now I am keeping this under the radar.
So where are we now?
The appleyards are in one group of four until breeding season. Plans are to breed my two ducklings together, I hope to get two or three sets for future breeding groups. Mixing up gen2 with gen0, all of course depending on how they look. It is always possible we fill the freezer, and make another trip to Holderread. I have been looking up how to line breed with a trio, and am hoping to find a friend farmer to take a set to work with so we can have some more birds out there to work with. Most of the line breeding set ups want at least two pens, just not sure we could handle that much here.
The Corurnix quail are using up 6 of the 8 breeding cages. I have 3 of my jumbo browns, a party pen for demonstration ( cage of mixed colors), and two of some white that are for sale or soon to be butchered if not purchased. I had it culled back to 2 cages, but couldn't butcher out the set of JB's that didn't sell.
We recently built a "rabbit barn" and found some nice stackers to expand our project. We have decided to retire our grandable pair, and moving forward with Alice a doe who always had great comments but couldn't beat our "first string". Really hoping she keeps her figure well into her second year so she can have a chance to shine. With her we will be taking Sam's two blue sons, JSD1 won his first leg at 12wks @ Eugene in November. We plan on those three showing through 2015. I expect to have one of them for sale by fall 2015. We also have planned to breed Daisy again, and Maria will be bred to Sam for the first time. These breedings are scheduled for fall 2015 show season.
The pigeons have recently been found to both be hens and a nice cock has been located locally so that is exciting.
I think that covers initial info of where we are in our projects right now. :)
I am a homeschooling, 4H-ing, urban homesteader. Wife and mama of 4, we have a beautiful family, in the beautiful state of Oregon. We strive to eat clean, understand where and how our food gets to our plates, and get our hands dirty raising/growing what we can.