Life

Farm Updates: Our Growing Chickens and Ducks

We all have a bad case of spring fever right now! Where is spring?? A year ago today, my apple trees had blossomed. This year, we don’t even have green leaves yet. Winter continues to drag on and on. To make things worse, my oldest has spent the last two weeks on bedrest with a broken femur. We are all aching for sunshine, warmth, and exercise. I’m dying to get serious in the garden, but that’s been impossible. We’ve already had three snows this month! In April!

We finally had a beautiful day of sunshine today, so we set our son up on the back deck to soak in some rays while we spent some time with our farm animals. All of our babies have grown so much and it seems like we missed it, between our son’s hospital stay and bedrest. We transitioned our Welsummers into the big chicken coop two weeks ago, and have slowly started integrating the Ameraucanas this week. It’s fun to have so many chicks in the coop, it’s like a party in there all the time now! A party that involves shocking amounts of poop, ha. Tripling your number of chickens is no joke my friends. In good news, I will have tons of fabulous compost this year.

This is our beautiful Welsummer Rooster. We love him! Thankfully, he seems pretty docile so far, although of course that could change as he matures. With young kids, we won’t be keeping any aggressive roos. It just isn’t worth the risk. He seems lovely so far though, so fingers crossed that he will be a long time addition to our little homestead. If not, there is always Coq au vin. 😉

The Welsummers have been a pleasant surprise. When we first got them, they were just hitting that adolescent phase, and I was not a fan. It seems that when chicks become “teenagers,” they go through this awful phase of picking fights with each other and avoiding humans at all costs. But thankfully, they mellowed out quite nicely, and I’m really enjoying having them!

Our Ameraucanas (hopefully? I’m still not certain how to tell if they meet the breed standard!) are just absolutely beautiful birds. It is hard to capture in a photograph. They are all different, with such beautiful wings and coloring. We have two groups of them, and older group and a younger group. The younger group is just hitting that awkward teenage phase, the older group is starting to come out of it. Either way, they are all really stunning birds, and we love watching them as they mature and develop their adult coloring.

I call this one Dumbledore, ha! He or she is the largest of our flock, and we have gone back and forth on whether or not it is a rooster or hen. It’s a little harder to tell with the Ameraucanas because they have such small pea combs.

They are just all so different! Such beautiful colors.

Fran has been hard at work. She is an insane mouser. When she gets this little look in her eyes you know she has spotted one! Love this little cat.

She’s beautiful too. And quite sweet, despite her angry looks!

Quackles has matured into such a beautiful white duck! She’s my favorite. I admit, I sort of want to get a few more! I love them in my garden. They haven’t messed with any of my plants and they are so fun to watch. Brandon wants to get a few more because he says he loves a good roast duck.

Here we have Quackles, Pharaoh, Cleopatra, and Moses. I wanted an Egyptian themed name for Quackles too, but Brandon named her. He said she had to be Quackles because she just won’t stop quacking. She’s definitely the vocal leader of the group!

Fun fact. It takes less than 10 minutes for ducks to turn clear water to complete filth. However, that filth makes excellent garden fertilizer! So it’s another great reason to have them in the garden. They love their new home!

I hope this warm weather is here to stay because we all need more sunshine after a dreary few weeks. Come on spring, don’t let us down again!

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