Archive for the ‘In the Coop’ Category

Well, the baby ducks are growing like crazy.  As a matter of fact, when I walked into the barn this morning I found this…

That is not ideal.  So, today the combining began. In the divided run are the silkies, Bubbles and her chick sisters and the new baby ducks. Reasonably, I was worried that the baby ducks might get picked on. Nope, Splish – the white baby duck- went after everyone. And who was most upset and scared? Bubbles, who is at least 4 times their size was terrified! Oh well, after a few minutes they all settled down. It is a pretty big space.

Bubbles in the new pool!

Yesterday afternoon was beautiful. It was sunny and cool enough for sitting in the pleasant sun. So, I dedicated a couple of hours to letting the girls roam free. I only do this under supervised conditions nowadays as last fall I lost 2 of my girls while they were free ranging. They have a large run (10×20) so I don’t feel too guilty, but of course I wish they could free range all the time. Lately, I have seen other blog posts about the insecurities of free ranging and their points have hit home with me. I want to keep my girls happy, but I also want them to be safe.

I even had bubbles and the baby chicks out….

The babies are in a fun contraption called a “Peck and Play.” It’s an enclosed play yard for animals that are at risk. I think bubbles is big enough that she would have been fine out and about, but the chicks might have been harder to keep track of so I contained them. The peck and play is not foolproof when it comes to predators though so I still keep a close eye on them.

All in all, we had a lovely afternoon…

Silo enjoyed hanging out with us too.

 

So this happened today…

Bubbles was lonely. She is happy and ok if I keep her with her sister chicks, but their size difference is getting out of control. Everyone I discussed it with insisted that ducks shouldn’t be solo… Once they are grown and can be incorporated into the flock everything will be fine but there will be a big space of time when that won’t be. So, I went and got her a friend. What? A friend you say?  You think I have a counting problem? It’s true but I have to defend myself. The store won’t sell only one duck. So I had to get two… really…)

The problem with this store is that they don’t really know what they’re doing. I was a little sad because the babies had no water. They told me they had just arrived at the store 45 minutes earlier but ducks with no water?  That’s not ok…

Anyway… No names yet. I did some research and I think one is a white crested and the other is a Campbell Khaki but only time will tell… But they are cute and the brown one is very enthusiastic.

So now… my flock is up to 15.  ENOUGH!  (for now 🙂 )

 

When I got home from my trip, it was clear that bubbles had outgrown her latest tub. Did I mention that it’s 54 gallons?  Anyway, I realized a change needed to be made so off we went to the barn. I put up the circle fencing, put in a big bucket of water and food, etc… and popped her in. Won’t she be happy?

 

Nope… no sisters. I thought she’d get used to it, but 36 hours later she was still crying and running into the wire trying to escape. I put her back in with her sisters and I’ll make a different plan this weekend.

When we come into the room to clean the box (3 times a day) or just say,”hi!” or try to get cute pics with bubbles in cute poses, bubbles generally gives us the cold shoulder. As a matter of fact, she tries to hide…behind her sisters. The problem is, bubbles is three times larger than the chicks now. So it’s rather humorous.

Yep, that’s her, peeking out but trying to hide. It’s so cute. She’s completely unaware of her size. Her sisters play along. “Sure, we’ll hide you. Just act cool,” they seem to say.

 

I keep trying to get bubbles to swim because, she is after all, a duck. But, no such luck…

She found the place where she could stand and turned her back to me.

Being wrapped in a towel is much more her style.

We are amazed at how quickly bubbles is growing. She arrived 6 days ago just a tad larger than her chick sisters. Now she is almost 2x their size.

I have taken to putting her into odd spots and taking pictures. She is sweet, cute and willing to pose.

She actually loved being in this spot for this pic and I realized that she was having a nibble of the leaves!

So yesterday Chris, Jeannie and I flew down to Lebanon. 

It was a beautiful day and I nice flight. We went to a local restaurant called Elm Street and we had a nice little lunch. Then we got to the main event – a trip to Cackle Hatchery.

First, I chose 4 chicks that my friend requested. She want a Welsummer, a silver laced wyandotte, a black astralorp and a buff orpington. They had all but one. We got her a cinnamon queen instead of a buff orpington. Of course, if you look in the box a few minutes later, it looks a bit more crowded…

There are two extra cinnamon queens and a little yellow and black…. duck!

Yes, this is bubbles… she is sooo adorable. I don’t have any duck skills yet but I am about to acquire them!

The chickens are amazing!  They are sweet and friendly.  They follow me around the yard while I’m gardening. They are very prolific layers, especially the CinnamonQueens.  All in all I think having chickens is a VERY positive experience.

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Barbara, Dolly, and Bess - free ranging...

Barbara, Dolly, and Bess – free ranging…

The date had us fooled. We thought it was the end of March.  We thought it was time to plant peas and work on my new herb garden.  Our friend thought it was a great day to come over and help put in our chicken door and fencing.  But, in reality we got snow. More snow than we have gotten in the three and a half years we have lived here. Surprise!  We got more than a foot..

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October 2019
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