Happy Tuesday

Today I am happy.
Tired, but happy.

You see, since March 28th, I have not been able to upload a single picture to the blog.
I’ve been having to link to Instagram to show y’all pictures.
Today, for some reason unknown to me, I decided to try to upload a few images.

KABAM!!

It worked!

So, now I’m going through any pictures I’ve taken the last month and trying to do a mass uploading, just incase WP decides that I shouldn’t be able to again…

Today you get Cricket, the happy muscovy duck:

Why is he happy?
He doesn’t know.
He’s a duck.
😂😂😂

Ducks and images aside, gardening is getting underway.
This past weekend, I rejigged the small raised beds in the front yard.
There are 9 ~ 3’x3′ beds.
Well, were.
Now there are 3 ~ 3’x3′ bed that are much deeper.
I took out 6 of them, stacked them on the other 3 and made them more usable.
A good heavy layer of rotted horse manure in the bottom, some straw over top of that and then topsoil.
And lots and lots and lots of watering in between.
Then yesterday, I planted rhubarb in one and asparagus in another.
I have room in the asparagus box for more crowns, so next time MCFHubby is at Canadian Tire, he’ll grab another pouch of them for me…and Thursday, he’s going to a friend’s to help split an established rhubarb for us.
So I’ll have 2 rhubarb plants.

And anyone who knows me is doing the quizzical doggy head tilt, because I don’t like rhubarb.
But, I like the *medicinal properties* of rhubarb…

Plus there’s wine, sooooo, yeah.
😂😂😂

Next up, prepping the spots for peas, and getting those planted.
then we’re onto parsley, carrots and beets.
While hathing more chicks…because we like eating chicken.
😂😂😂

I set another 80 eggs on the 1st.
And I don’t know what the ducks are doing, but I’m hoping to see some duckling action happening soon.
We have so many girls going broody, but no one is sitting nests yet.
Our Ripple abandoned hers after we moved it…we knew that would be a possibility, but we couldn’t leave her getting beat up by the turkeys.

Speaking of turkeys, my 5 left from the hatching are doing great!
Same with the 10 whites in with them.
Eggs every day for breakfast and tons of gamebird feed in their feeder 24/7.
Finally, they’re all growing gangbusters!
Thank goodness!

Now I just need my full grown turkey hens to get on with the laying.
They all have the tell tail sign that Oscar and Dingus are wooing them, but we haven’t seen any eggs yet.
They might be like the ducks though…the ducks did nothing for laying/broodiness until their 2nd year.
Eh, we shall see, right?
In the meantime, there’s no shortage of chickens to eat here.
😂😂😂

Sharing with Sandee at Comedy Plus for Happy Tuesday

A Little Jaunt

Yesterday was the first day we all left the Farm for errands in just about a year.
It’s been mostly Hubby, sometimes I go with him, but The Kid has 99.99% of the time stayed home.
Yesterday we all went for the drive.

First up we met up with a friend so she could get some delicious farm fresh eggs from my asshole birds.
That was a lovely visit…we hadn’t seen her for more than a year, between life schedules and then this *waves hands* stuff going on…but it was so good to see her. ❤

Then off to see the Lady with the turkey eggs.
Holy smokes, this woman is living the Dream!
Moved from a crowded once country turned citified area to a 1/4 section farm where she can see elk off her deck most mornings. So exciting! She’s a really cool lady, and I’m super happy for her and her family.
And when I found out I could still get turkey eggs from her this year, I jumped at the chance.

DaisyMae Flerkin helps incubate the eggs. Notice the candling light is on…DaisyMae *always* turns that damn light on.

And then from see the Turkey Egg Lady, we went into the big city to get a new well pressure tank.
Our well pump has been coming on every 20 minutes or so…which is not normal and not good.
After posting on Facebook for ideas, we checked/fixed the leaky toilet and the leaky water softener and that didn’t change things. So a friend’s son, who is a plumber and former farm boy, said the next thing is the tank, because it sounds like the bladder has a leak.
To be fair, another friend, who just recently had her pressure tank replaced, said the same thing.
So now we have a new pressure tank, and Hubby (with the assistance of The Kid and I) will set about to replace the leaky one with the new one.
Wish us all luck.

And finally, we were given some more feed seeds.
Beans, and some feed corn.
Pintos, and navy beans.
Those got put into the “we’ll plant these for food for us” pile.
And then there was the bag of feed corn.
Um, yes please!
I don’t actually have to tell y’all why I might want to grow feed corn, do I?
Knowing that I love to do home brewing?
Yeah, so I now have enough feed corn seed to do a very nice plot of corn.
That may or may not become a lovely alcohol in the fall/winter.
😉

Seeds!

And the duck girls have started to lay…we’re taking the eggs away for a bit, just because it’s still chilly at night, but in a few weeks, we’ll leave them for the hens to start to sit, so we can have many, many bebe ducks.
Fingers crossed!
🙂

Duckling Update

This mild winter we’ve been having has been very good for our ducklings.
Very good indeed!
Instead of being stuck inside on crazy cold days, they’ve been venturing our into the yard, and they’re now mixing at will with the adult ducks and the turkeys.

Today, we double checked leg bands on everyone.
The last thing we want is anyone to have issues because their bad is too tight, so we try to check every week or two. Since it was so nice out, we caught up all the birbs, chickens too, who have bands and checked them, replacing as needed.

And then, as I was collecting eggs, I discovered an unlikely chicken hen pop out a green egg.
I was not expecting this girl to be a green layer. She’s a rather unassuming gold colored hen. But I saw the egg come out of her and it was green, so…so I caught her up and banded her.
That way I know who she is come time to separate out Chubby, Chonky and a rooster…then I can grab her and put her in with them (plus at least 1 more hen) so that the cornish girls aren’t the only objects of the roo’s affections.
Oh, and while banding her, I discovered she has feathered legs/feet.
Interesting.

But back to the ducks…

We have 2 mature drakes, and 11 mature hens.
Of the 14 ducklings we bought in the summer, 6 turned out to be girls.
All except 1 boy went to Freezer Camp.
Not too shabby.
Then we had 2 clutches hatch successfully, with 19 between them, and our lone duckling from a 3rd hatch where 2 died and 1 survived. That is The Kid’s duck, Cricket.
We did lose 1 duckling for unknown reasons, so we are at 19 duck babies.
Well, now they aren’t quite so baby-ish ad we’re beginning to be able to tell who’s a boy and who’s a girl.
If we’re 100% right, we have 12 hens hatched out and 7 drakes.
Of the drakes, only Cricket will stay.
So all told, we’ll have 23 hens and 3 drakes once culling is done.

Gotta say, that’s a darn fine late season hatch, to get so many hens!
That gives each drake roughly 7 hens each for springtime duckling making.
So now we have our fingers crossed for a bunch of the girls setting on nests…and I’m starting to look seriously for crates, bins, barrels…anything I can make places where the girls can hide out in their yard to sit a nest.
My hope is for many ducklings to grow over the summer.
Hopefully we’ll get to see the prolific hatching nature of muscovy hens this year?
Damn, I hope so!!

Cricket from a month ago…he’s considerably bigger now and looks like he’s going to be a blue pied in colour. Hard to know 100% ’til after his first full molt.

One More Thing Done…

The gate is now hung on the turkey/duck yard.
Instead of being leaned on the posts and braced with a stick.
😂😂😂
Hey, we’re innovative here!
Sometimes things need a little ingenuity before being finished.
Especially when we didn’t have hinges for a week and quite honestly, I didn’t want to leave the turkeys cooped up in their coop for that long…see what I did there?
Cooped up in their coop?
😂😂😂

And now that the turkeys and ducks have decided that co-habitating in the new duck house is okay, we have the brooder coop free…well, it was free.
Now it’s housing 19 duck babies who aren’t quite ready to integrate with the rest of the flock.
And Mama Ripple didn’t give 2 duck shits about seeing her ducklings again.
😂😂😂
She’s already flirting and dancing for Drake so they can get to workin’ on the next clutch.

Next thing to get done is to run cords for the heat lamps.
I ordered new ones from Princess Auto (one of my favorite stores ever!) so that we can heat the 3 coops (ducks/turkeys, ducklings, and chicken coop) when the temperatures drop.
Plus have an extra for the brooder come spring…because y’all just know once March 1st hits, the incubators get fired up and we start this hatching/growing thing all over again.
Here’s hoping we don’t have to replace the outdoor plugs.
It’s one of those things that’s been on “The List” but has yet to get done…and Hubby is not a fan of electrical work, and trust me, a licensed electrician is *not* in this Farm Girl’s budget right now!
So we’re hoping the plugs don’t keep popping their breakers.
Fingers crossed.

Oh!
And my light colored turkey boy has been figuring out his dance moves.
😂😂😂
He keeps doing his mating dance for the ducks hens, not the turkey hens tho…I think he likes his girls short, fat and weird looking. lol
But that he’s figuring out his moves now means he’ll be ready once the hens are receptive, and that’s a good thing.
So fingers crossed for many, many fertilized turkey eggs for hatching!
😍😍😍

Today’s next task is cleaning the kitchen so I can rinse the pork bellies that have been brining so that I can fire up the smoker tomorrow and have bacon…and see about hanging a tree stand for Hubby to hunt out of tomorrow and Wednesday.
Since all the Remembrance Day ceremonies are cancelled (#fuckcovid) he might as well go out and see about putting some red meat in the freezer.

Ruby’s face says it all about how we’re all feeling here at the Farm…

Duck Update

The ducks are well.
They’re now in the same yard as the turkeys and the 2 species seem to be getting along pretty darn good.
*knock on wood*
The other day when I sat down to take pictues of the turkeys, our drake (whom I’ve simply been calling Drake) took exception to my being there…

He was hissing and wagging his tail and side eying me the whole time.
😂😂😂

The girls, however, weren’t terribly worried.
They were more interested in seeing if I had some food for them…

Oh hey, Food Lady…got anything we might like to eat?

The 2 hens we bought in the spring have blue eyes…it’s kinda cool. And it makes it easier for me to know who they are. The whites look so similar.

Remember back in August I bought those 14 ducks off the local buy and sell page?
Well, 6 went to freezer camp.
I have 3 more drakes to go, and we have 4 lovely young hens to add to the flock. (and yes, if you math that out, we’re short one…we lost a bebe in the beginning 😥 )
2 whites…because I guess I needed more white ducks to get confused by…a black and white pied…

black and white pied with one of the new whites…who actually has a hint of chocolate to her…

And a chocolate pied…

awww, cute sleepy duck hen…

Now don’t yell at me if I have those colour names wrong.
I *think* that’s what the colours are called, but I’m very open to my being wrong. We’re not a breed for colour Farm, so I haven’t researched it beyond the simple basics. 🙂

That gives us 10 hens to 1 Drake.
Plus the 18 ducklings and Cricket.

Cricket

Now little Mr Cricket…he gets to stay on as a breeding drake.
It’s become obvious that Cricket is male.
And, we have 4 unrelated hens, with goodness knows how many hens who are half siblings in the brooder with him.
The standard seems to be 5 hens/drake.
So, even with just the 10 we have now, having a 2nd boy to work come spring is needed.
By the time spring rolls around, Mr Cricket will be quite interested in young hens…
And to be fair, he is a favorite of The Kid’s.
He’s become her pet, and I try not to chop the heads off of pets.
😂😂😂
But, like every other animal here, he’ll have a job.
Only horses get to be pretty and eat money. 😉

Cricket and TroubleCat

Skeksies

Welp, I finally managed to get out to the turkey yard with my camera.
Hubby and The Kid got the fence pulled and we now *have* a turkey yard!
Those poor birds were so confused the first time we left the door to their coop open.
And then again when Hubby shoveled out the mass of poo and straw.
😂😂😂
He was stealing their good stuff!!
But they’ve had a few days of freedom outside now and they’re starting to get it.
So the other day I went out with Voldemort and just sat down in the yard…in a spot they hadn’t shit yet…lemme tell ya, turkeys can shit a lot. Everywhere. Lots of shit.

But I found a spot and had a seat, giving them a chance to settle down and try to figure out what the hell I was…

“Oh hey…what are you?”

They spent a lot of time just staring at me, completely confused.
😂😂😂
Um, turkeys are confused a lot.
And a bit sketchy/skittish.
Oh but they’re fun!
They sing and hoot and call to each other and they’re like gangly teenagers who don’t have complete control of their bodies yet.

And I am 100% convinced that turkeys were the inspiration for the Skeksies.

Tell me that bird doesn’t look like a Skeksie!
Of course he does!
In case you’re wondering what the hell I’m going on about…
Skeksies

Just wandering about, doing turkey things…
Pretty light coloured hen…and some ducks.
The light one right in front is a tom…he’s figuring out his strutting and dancing…though he keeps doing it for the duck hens, not the turkey hens…I guess he likes his girls short, fat and weird looking. 😂😂😂

In a few months, we should see the hens begin to lay eggs…probably end of Feb., beginning of March…and then we’ll see the boys dance their mating dance…and then! Then I’ll be grabbing eggs to put into the incubator, because more turkeys is a good thing. 😉
Hell, if I can order some broad breasted whites (commercial birds) to raise with a round of these guys, hopefully we’ll be flush with turkeys for next year!
Fingers crossed.
🙂

Getting There…

Today we got 4 round bales of wheat straw home for The Merry Mares.

It was…interesting. lol
Those are big bales, but thankfully, we didn’t have far to go.
Also, thankfully, the folks we bought them from have more available.
Like 800 more available!!
So, later on if I need more I can get it any time.
Yay!
I suspect that we might need a few more to tide The Merry Mares over for winter. Fingers crossed not, but knowing I can get more means I can give ’em to them to enjoy without worry. 🙂

So today we did that.
Then we set one out for the horses and peeled off some for the ducks, the chickens and the turkeys.

We stole all the duck babies from their Mamas and put them in the coop I showed you last post.
It’s getting colder and it’s time to get the ducks into one pen.
And it’s too cold for the babies to learn pecking order with the big ducks.
So, since we have the coop, and we already had Cricket (the once house duck) and his friend Disco (a once duckling from our white hen) in there (Disco was added because Cricket needed a friend…animals *always* do better in pairs), we figured we’d put *all* the ducklings in there.
At least until they feather out enough to go into another house near the bigger ducks.

*sigh*
Animal husbandry can be frustrating.
It is, no matter what, a lot of work.
Especially if you’re doing it properly.

We also brought home another 400lbs of feed for the poultry and 100 lbs of oats for the horses.
Our horses don’t get a lot of grain.
We prefer to give quality hay, alfalfa cubes as extras and beet pulp.
But on those bitterly cold nights, the grain is handy to stoke the equine furnace and get it running hot so that when the ample amount of hay (and now straw too) goes in, they stay warm.
Horses stay warm best by eating.
Not to say we don’t blanket.
We have one for everyone, but Sable gets to wear hers more than the others. She is my Palomino Princess. ❤
And to be fair, she’s getting up there in age, and sometimes us oldsters need a little help to stay fat and sassy in the colder months. 😉

Tomorrow I butcher the last handfuls of roosters that are ready to be done, while Hubby and The Kid work on the fencing for the adult ducks and turkeys. Then we can move the turkeys to their coop and the ducks into the brooder the turkeys are in.
It’s been a looooong summer/fall of poultry butchering and after tomorrow I’ll just have 5 or so ducks to do.
Of the 14 we bought, we did 6 last week.
There’s 7 left (we lost one small duckling shortly after we got them) and I think a couple of ’em are hens.
Hens stay on, drakes go to freezer camp.

Come spring we’ll look at the 18 babies that hatched (19 technically, but Cricket has become The Kid’s pet, so Cricket is off the table, food wise), figure out who’s a hen, who’s a drake and set breeding groups from there.
Hopefully come spring, the eine kliene bang bang music amongst the ducks will give us a massive amount of ducklings to waddle the pasture and eat bugs, whilst shitting out ducky fertilizer here, there and everywhere.
I am hoping to have whole ducks for sale come next fall.
Ducks can be processed on Farm, and sold Farm gate.
They just have to be whole and labeled as “uninspected”…meaning they haven’t been done in a provincially inspected abattoir.
And, with no overseeing board (like the Manitoba Chicken Producers, or the Egg Board) there’s no limit on the number of ducks I can butcher and sell, so long as I follow the already in place guidelines.
Turkeys is 99 per year.
Meat chickens is 999 per year.
I would love to become a supplier of well bred, well raised, humanely slaughtered muscovy ducks.
So that’s what we’re working on.

So that’s where we’re at.
Making progress, and trying our best.
Today I turned on the heat for the very first time this winter.
And I need to get hay home.
But so far, so good.
Things are going well…would be better if there were 6 of us, instead of 3 but…whatrya gonna do?
We’re gonna do the best we can and hope for the best.
🙂

Just think, in 4 1/2 months, I’ll fire the incubators for the first hatch of 2021.
Feels like forever away, but it’s only 4 1/2 months.

Tuesday Morning Round Up ~ October 6th, 2020

Somehow, October has crept up on me and bowled me over like a bull in a china shop.
Gee, surprise!
🤦‍♀️🙄
So much surprise (not) that I started writing this yesterday, when it would have been a Monday Morning Round Up.
😂😂😂

So, what have we been up to?
Welp, I do believe we are caught up on roosters.
For now.
We’ve got a handful that need to grow some more in the bachelor pen before going to freezer camp.
Next up, ducks.
That’s this weekend.
Then we’re finishing the turkey/duck yard so we can move the turkeys to their new house.
They’re growing very well, but not enough that we’ll have turkey at Yule for dinner.
Naw, more like in March…but that’s okay.
We’ll have a better idea on hens and toms then and then we can weed out the boys we’re not going to keep.

This also happened:


This little guy hatched out from our chocolate hen.
She had this one and one other duckling….but she decided she didn’t want to actually *have* ducklings, she just wanted to sit on a nest.
So she let the chickens try to kill the bebes.
We didn’t catch them soon enough to save both, but did save this one.
And for now (a temporary time) we have a house duck.
Ain’t gonna be for long because I detest having birds in my house, but right now I have turkeys in the brooder (still) so no place to put a duck on his own.

So, to sum up…busy, busy busy.
Roosters.
Freezer Camp.
Ducks.
Building.
Just trying to get shit done because, as we all know…

Winter is coming.

To quote a friend… “even the livestock are sick of 2020” 😂😂😂

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.
🙂

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!!
😂😂😂