Muscovies have meetings. I don’t know about other ducks, having only ever had 1 non-muscovy duck, and a whole bunch of muscovies… Muscovy meetings are awesome. There’s a lot of chatter and head bobbing and tail wagging and some clicking and hissing… Here’s a short video of this morning’s meeting:
Turn your sound up and hit play. This went on for a good 2 minutes before I decided to make the video…and of course once thye noticed me watching, the meeting ended. But this is a sign of a flock that’s doing well. We’ve had some big challenges keeping these guys healthy over the winter from hell, so that they’re feeling good enough to have meetings again is wonderful. And as the caption on Instagram says, this discussion was seemingly over which girl was choosing which drake she wanted for the bebe making. No one is laying yet, and that’s okay. I’m in no hurry, with all the damn snow yet, for the hens to be going broody. Plus, in the last blizzard, I lost my pitchfork in a drift, so until I find that *no one* is allowed to go broody…I am not cleaning up broody duck shit with a shovel. Just. Not. 🤢🤮 If you’ve had ducks, you know exactly what I’m talking about. 🤢🤮
Got through another blizzard. Rain/snow comin’ this weekend. Feelin’ like the winter that never wants to end. Donkey horse did this to herself:
I’m sure she had one helluva headache after that. She sure was grumpy with me when I poked and prodded it. lol Someone had to poke at it and see how bad it was. 😉 Good thing it’s not fly season or sunburn season, otherwise she’d be even unhappier with me.
This week I’m firing up the incubators. No chickens this year. Got no roos left. Sadly, in the hellacious winter of 21/22, I lost all my roos to shitty weather and a respiratory infection that blew through my coops like crazy. So only turkeys. And a few cross bred ducks…and guinea fowl…both of those I’m picking up from a FB friend who asked if anyone was interested in some to hatch out. Um, yeah! Haven’t managed to have ducks hatch in the incubator (came close with a couple muscovies but they quit a week or so before they were due) and never had guinea fowl, so, for free eggs? I’m willing to give it a try. Now we let our duck hens do the work, because muscovies love, love, love to hatch bebes. And aside from late season nests, I’m happy to let them.
I’m currently up to 15 turkey eggs to hatch. Today we discovered, much to my chagrin, that one hen we thought was a hen turned out to be a tom. So Oscar (my main tom) has only 6 girls instead of 7. I’m just hoping that the newly discovered tom stays subservient long enough that we can get him to a better size for the freezer. 2 breeding toms is plenty and I don’t have enough hens to give Dingus any right now, so keeping a 3rd tom is just not gonna work. Plus, toss in the whole avian influenza thing going on, selling a live bird right now is more of a pain in the ass than normal…plus, we like turkey, and we let these jerks breed so we can eat the extras, so…
Tomato seeds are popping up through the dirt. I’m getting ready to sow a few more. Only have 36 little cups (though each cup has more than 1 seed in it and I’ll pot up any extras that come up from those multiples…except for the San Marzano…I only had 10 of those seeds, so 1 per cup) and that ain’t going to be nearly enough tomatoes for us. Tomatoes is like beans…I could plant an acre of ’em and that *might* be enough for us. 😂😂😂 All my other seeds that I ordered, have come in. Hubby is just picking up bits and bobs here and there when he’s at the feed store or the hardware store. Mostly adding to the carrots/beets supply of seeds. We go through a lot of both.
And that’s us. We’re just waiting on spring to really and for truly get here. And for hands in the dirt/building season to begin. YeeHaw.
There’s 2 hens and a drake there.
They’re young yet, being a Sept. 2019 hatch.
But, in the next month or two, the hens will start to lay and hopefully the drake will get to work doing what drakes do best.
He’s got a total of 6 hens to service and I’m hoping her does that.
I want these girls to give me ducklings…many, many ducklings.
I’m adding to the duck flock this spring.
We still have our 4 muscovy hens.
Donald went to Freezer Camp.
So today I was looking at the local hatchery’s website, planning…dreaming…plotting what I need financially and in supplies for what birds I plan to order.
In May there’s going to be a local small animal auction that we want to go to, so I’m hoping to pick up a new drake for the muscovy girls.
I don’t think they much cared for Donald, because of all the eggs they gave us, not a one was fertile.
So I’ll see if we can find them a better suitor.
And then, hopefully, we’ll be overrun with muscovy babies!
I’m told they breed like crazy…I haven’t see it yet.
Back to the hatchery…
My plan is to order pekins.
They’re a simple white meat duck.
Which is what we want ducks for…meat.
And then I noticed they had cayugas this year.
Cayugas are a black duck with an iridescent sheen to them..
You can see examples here: Metzer Farms
So now I’m thinking I’m going to order 9 pekins and 1 cayuga.
And we’ll see what happens from there.
I’m hoping to get at least a pair of drake and hen so I can keep 2 for breeding, and the rest will go to Freezer Camp at the end of the summer.
Again, we’ll see what happens.
But I’m focusing on poultry this year, while researching sheep still, because we’re not planning on pigs this year.
This is my break year from raising pigs.
That’s okay, because we still have a bunch in the freezer…and I still have to smoke the bacon.
I’m getting there.