Well, Peggy lost one of her turkey chicks Monday. I hadn’t thought about it (and I should have), but we have a big stock tank that the animals drink out of and the ducks swim in. Turkeys will try to fly at a really early age. One of the little guys flew up, probably trying for the edge of the stock tank, fell in and drowned. Damn. So now she has just one chick. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been having a terrible time incubating duck eggs. Turns out duck eggs (and goose eggs – my friend has been having similar issues with goose eggs) are a whole lot more difficult to successfully hatch than chicken or turkey eggs. Something to do with the humidity being not too high, not too low, but just right, along with air flow/oxygen. So, I’ve only hatched out 15 ducks out of about 35 eggs. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, after a 26 degree night a week or so ago, followed by 28, 30 and 32 degree nights on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, we’re finally out of the 30′s, at least for a while. Wonder why I care? Because I have a bunch of stuff planted that can take a frost, but tends to just sit, and sit, and sit, if the weather at night doesn’t warm up. And I’ve transplanted 37 tomato plants into larger containers, which necessitates them going outside into the sunshine during the day (no room under the grow lights for all of them). And if it stays above 40, I leave them out at night too.
We’ve had a lot of this this week.
Everywhere my husband and I have lived, there have been Sandhill Cranes. We saw them in Montana, in southern Arizona, and in huge numbers while in Colorado, at the annual Monte Vista Crane Festival. I had the great fun of working at and speaking at this festival several years in a row while I was with the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks and Wildlife). The festival almost always fell on my birthday, which was a great way to celebrate. (There’s also a huge crane festival in Nebraska every year. If you ever get the opportunity to attend one of these festivals – do go!) Read the rest of this entry »
According to one of my duck books, exposure to water over their backs at an early age (three days) activates a duck’s oil gland. That way, as they lose their baby fuzz and their new feathers come in, they already have a functioning oil gland, and can waterproof themselves. If this is not done, the oil gland does not activate until the ducks are about 8 weeks old. In my mind, waterproofing = better insulated, so the sooner the better. Read the rest of this entry »
It was just about a year ago that I picked up my peeping box of ducklings from the post office. Based on the ship date, I estimate their birthdays to be April 21st. Here’s what I have figured out during my first year of raising ducks. Read the rest of this entry »
We had a couple of families come out on Sunday to see babies. One of the teenage daughters said that there was so much cute her head was going to explode. I know just how she feels. Read the rest of this entry »
Happy first day of Spring!
Babies! We have babies! Two male American Blackbelly lambs, to be precise. We’re new to this whole lamb birthing business, so it was quite the event for us. Thankfully, Wallula cooperated and had her twins on Saturday afternoon, when both my husband and I were home, and on my birthday to boot. How about that! Read the rest of this entry »
The calendar says March 4th. The ground says early spring. I’ve got chives coming up, California poppies reseeding, daffodils pushing up flower buds, violets blooming, fruit tree buds swelling, silver maple blooming. There is the faintest tinge of green, if you squint and get the light just right, on the line of “wind break” willows that line two sides of our property. Read the rest of this entry »