Ducklings Round 2

Back in the spring I had bought a trio of muscovies…a replacment drake (because Donald was infertile) and a couple of hens…
I paid a fair bit for them, but spring is prime time for adding new blood to flocks, so people charge more.
That’s more than fair…if I wasn’t happy with the price, I wouldn’t have paid it…just in case anyone thinks I’m complaining about the seller. I absolutely am not. I know spring is premium price time and I needed a drake. 🙂

Well after a few slow starts and 2 eggs not hatching in the incubator, our muscovy ducks are delivering.
Last week we found Ripple’s 8 ducklings hatched.
Today we have another 9 or 10 more…

Don’t you be lookin’ too close at my babies, human!!

Oh, I’m lookin’!
And I’m wondering if those 2 chicken eggs are gonna hatch or if they’ve gone rotten.
🤢
🤮

All those fluff butts!
😍

I’ve got 2 more hens sitting on nests that should be hatching in the next week or so.
I hadn’t planned on over wintering quite so many ducks, but when the babies happen the babies happen.
Good thing we have a duck coop just about ready to move them all in to!

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Awww Mondays
🙂

Editing to add…
The final count for this hens hatch is…11!!
Eleven baby ducklings.
Pretty darn awesome.
🙂

Foraging

Y’all know I make wine…
Which is funny because before we moved to the Farm, Hubby and I had quit drinking alcohol the second I found out I was pregnant with The Kid.
Didn’t touch another drop ’til the move here.
Something about the highs and lows of Farm life make ya want a drink every now and then.
😂😂😂

Over the summer I had a chance to slip out to my brother’s 80 acres of bush and forage some chokecherries.
Being the first year I looked for them, and because he has so much poison ivy, I only found 1/2 an ice cream pail of them.
Enough for a gallon of wine, at least.

Yesterday, Hubby and I were over picking up chicken feed from the farmer who leases our big field and I noticed some black berries…I says, “y’know that tree we drive past to get back here, the one with the black berries on it?”
“Chokecherries” he says “Pick as many as you want…there’s a spot in the back where there’s tons of ’em…pick whatever you want”

So on the way out, we stopped and I grabbed a handful to see how they tasted (because they’re a bit past their prime, and we’ve had a frost) and they were de-effing-licious!
So I’m heading out to fill some pails, and my freezer where there’s space, so I can make more chokecherry wine.
And now I have a bountiful place to pick next year too!
🙂

Turkey Babies

Yesterday we gave the turkeys new bedding…plus Hubby gave them a sturdy branch to perch on.
The turkeys felt this was traumatizing.
They had to tell me in song how scary it all was.
After someone flew at my face and pooped on my phone.
😂😂😂

Ah, the life of a FarmHer.
Don’t get much more glamorous than that!!

It Finally Happened

This has been a couple years in the making.
We’ve been waiting what feels like for. ever.
We’ve been wanting this to happen for so long.
And finally…

This is Ripple…one of our muscovy hens.
Isn’t she a beautiful girl?
Look beside her…

There’s a scrap of something bright, bright yellow there…
Do you see it?

Do you see now?
🙂

Ripple has hatched out ducklings!!

It’s late in the season, yes.
But after the eggs I stuck into the incubator died (but were well formed) we knew our new drake was working…before winter though, I needed confirmation that spring would give us ducklings. Otherwise, I’d be looking for a new drake. Again.
So when Ripple decided she was sitting a nest at the end of July, we let her.

There’s 2!

There’s a couple more eggs under her that might hatch yet…

There’s 3!
You can just see the hint of a 3rd duckling under her.
🙂

Good job, Mama Ripple!

If that doesn’t make getting the duck house in place for winter that much more urgent, I don’t know what does!!
😂😂😂

Fall is Coming

Seems like no matter how hard we try to catch up, we just keep getting farther behind.
I think that’s the way of things, no matter what though…

So we’ve shortened the list of things to do before winter a bit.
I had planned on a massive garden expansion into the 70 acre field for next spring.
I just can’t do it.
There’s not enough time or manpower (womanpower?) to get it done.
However, don’t think I’ve given up on expansion plans.
Oh, no!!

I planted into straw bales the past 2 years with marginal success.
This year was better than last year, but now the bales are far too broken down to use as a straw bale growing area.
Right beside those bales, we put a couple black plastic compost bins that have been working as homes for chicks/ducklings.
Now that those birds are ready to move into the main poultry yards, the bins can go back to their rightful uses for compost…but I’m left with an area chock full of straw and bird manure…what to do…what to do…

Oh!!
I know, I know!!
😂😂😂
Since the straw bales are *right there* and they’re too broken down to move with the tractor, I’ll take out the chick/duckling yards, breakdown the bales to cover the manure areas, then cover with composted equine excrement to create a long(ish) wide(ish) permabed ala Zach Loeks

That will get covered with plastic for the winter, so it can marinate and cook and be ready for spring planting.
It’s not as big of an expansion as I was hoping to do this year, but, we can only do what the 3 of us can do…and this, Kid and I can do in a day or two.
And we can always add on later as well.

I’m also working on propagating the grape vine I was given…as it turns out, it should be pruned this fall, so with pruning comes the chance to start more. Fine by me. 😉
I think I’ll give another go at propagating the honeyberries as well…because one can never have too many honeyberry plants. lol
And I’m taking a hard look at my black currant bushes too…😂😂😂
One can never have too many fruit bushes, I’m telling ya!!
What I really need to do, is figure out where on the property to put some raspberries.
Someone where they can just go wild!
I love raspberries, they’re expensive to buy, and I have space.
I can remember my Grandmother Kate’s patch as a child.
It was massive.
She’d give us kids a pail, send us into the patch and tell us not to come out until we needed another bucket to fill.
I ate so. many. berries.
😂😂😂
Pooped red for weeks!
I need a patch that big here.

Besides, raspberry plants are more than just berries for food.
Berries for wine, leaves and berries for medicine.
The goal is to grow as much medicinal plants as I possibly can…and one native to my climate.
So there’s been *A LOT* of studying going on for me.

The more I watch the world around me breaking down, the more I see people acquiescing to restrictive demands, the more I hear people demanding mandatory vaccination once a “safe” covid one is released, the more I think about dropping right out of society.
I don’t do submission and I don’t do forced medical procedures.
And I’ve had more than enough emotional manipulation to last 37 and a 1/3 lifetimes.

So, the more I can work on self sufficiency the better.
I suspect that in the next few years, there will be an underground market up and running to fulfill the needs of those who aren’t buying what the talking heads and powers that be are selling.
I mean to be on the ground floor of it.
To be fair, many of us small farmers are the basis of that sort of market anyways…I do think it’s just going to expand as people resist more and more.

Anyways, that might be a little too much for some of y’all.
That’s okay. 🙂
I try to keep it light, but freedom, while sometimes a scary thing, is very important.
But anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about that. 😉
At any rate, here’s a link to one of my very favorite Claire Wolfe pieces for your enjoyment:
What’s an Outlaw to Do?
It’s well worth the read.

And finally, a picture of my Ruby…
We had been given a whoooooolllllle bunch of grain screenings for the chickens.
As Hubby was working on getting it into storage bins, he mighta left a feed tub unattended for a wee bit…

“nom, nom, nom…gotta eat as much as I can before the DadGuy notices!!”

Enjoy the weekend folks.
I’m off to run a Rooster Rehab Camp.
🙂

September 1st

How did this happen??!?

I’m not ready for September!
I’m still cutting hay…2nd cut started this week.
I’m still working chicken butchering.
I’m still canning veggies.

We still have to finish a coop for the turkeys for winter.
Hopefully a duck one too – but then can go with the chickens like last year if necessary.
Plus I want to work on the garden expansion so that next spring it’s just plant and grow.
And we still have to get the greenhouse built.
😭😭

I don’t know how we’re going to get it all done.
But we’ll do our best to get as much done as possible.
The coop for the turkeys is 90% built (was originally for ducks, but ducks went in with chickens) it just has to be placed and doors added.
The garden expansion can wait ’til spring if necessary…it’d be easier if it was done in the fall but if it can’t be done soon, well, we’ll adjust.
But the greenhouse…
I’ve *got* to get that done so that we’re good to grow seedlings come March/April.

So enough whining out of me.
Off to work I go…but enjoy this cute photo I took on our road last month…