Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ducks day out, hens have a heyday

Nice sunny warm day—the first time I was able to allow the little ducklings to play in the sun and grass. Their first time out from under the heat lamp in the garage. They were a little scared and probably confused at first, partly because the chickens had to come over to investigate. The chickens are the first other animals they have seen besides us, and the girls were very much interested in the little babies out there. Playmates? Enemy invaders?

We are actually searching for some more chickens. Two of our older ones have gone missing. Of the 7 original Wyandottes (black and white) and Rhode Island Reds, we have 2 remaining. They are the 2 in the photo behind the duck cage, also in the other photo. We purchased 3 full-grown grey/blue hens shortly after that, and all 3 of those are gone now.

And of the last 10 babies from last spring, just in the last 3 weeks we have lost 2 of those to mysterious circumstances.

So we are down to 1 handsome Buff Orpington rooster and 12 young(ish) ladies to keep him occupied and to give us eggs. We are having a hard time keeping our Greek friends satisfied with eggs. The 2 different families, who know each other, still call and tell me to "Save all the eggs for me". And we are still trying to supply enough to keep Anna, who sells them in her shop, happy too.

So we are asking around for anyone who is selling or giving up adult hens. I also contacted the woman who sold us the 4 roosters (that were supposed to be 3 hens and 1 roo). She is getting in some new chicks in June and is happy to give us 3 of them to make up for the extra roos.

And we have one of the Buff hens still sitting on eggs in the coop. She did get up one time and we saw only one egg under her, so there is not much hope that she will succeed in hatching any, but you never know. There is also a small chance that one or both of the hens that ran off a couple of weeks ago is outside somewhere sitting on eggs, but I doubt that is where they disappeared to...

So for now we are happy to be raising 2 little duckies. Can't wait to see if they are boys or girls. My gut says that the dark one is a boy, and the light one a girl, but I have no reason to trust my gut. Time will tell.

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