Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Farm update: Broody hen, duck eggs, Muscovy moving

Angry angry Bellina

Belly is very very broody. We're talking full on puffball, angry, won't leave the nest box, stealing all the eggs from the other nests, chattering like an enraged raccoon, BROODY. At least she doesn't bite. I pull her off the nest every day when I get home, and she growls away as I tuck her under my arm and carry her over to the water/food. We're debating putting some duck eggs under her, just to make her happy.

We're down to, I think, 16 hens and 10 pullets.

Thinking that Broccoli is a dud. S(he) hasn't laid any eggs yet, and Beefy doesn't seem interested in her/him. Other than that, I could swear Broccoli is a female. Looks like a female. Carries herself like a female. Acts like a female. If she doesn't lay at all between now and fall, she'll go to a new home, and we'll buy a sexed African girl for Beefy.

All of the waterfowl (including the 'scovys) got moved to the summer pen this last weekend. I beefed up the fence on the unprotected side to about 8 1/2 feet, and there are more improvements planned for next weekend.

Maggie Muscovy laid her first egg on Saturday, and thankfully they're shaped differently from Olga's eggs so we can tell them apart (Crusty lays green eggs, Olga and Maggie lay white). Olga's eggs are large and very round. Maggie's are a bit smaller and elongated.

Merle Muscovy jealously guards his Maggie. He acts more like a rooster than a duck. Poor Sven got too close to the new girl, and Merle latched onto Sven's wing and dragged him away. Poor Sven.

The geese went over to meet and greet, but Merle raised the crest of feathers on his head, and the geese turned tail and ran away. Lol. The 'scovys have laid claim to the smaller water tub, and they spend a good portion of the day floating in it.

Maggie still hasn't gotten the hang of laying in the duck hut (though I saw her messing around in there in the dark this morning). For the moment, we're collecting her misplaced eggs, and will probably pop em under broody Bellina this weekend and see what comes of that.

I put 17 duck eggs (from Olga and Crusty) in the incubator on Saturday morning. Perhaps this evening I'll be able to see if any are developing!

Muscovy names... Pretty sure we've settled on Merle and Maggie (M&M).

Meat chicks: NOT cute anymore. Stinky, ravenous, noisy... Definitely not cute.

Turkeys: We will be picking up 4 BBW turkey poults on the 23rd.

Last year's poults

Bees: Picking up two nucs on the 20th.

Trees: Planted 7 more fruit trees last weekend. 2 plums, 1 apricot, 2 pears, 2 apples. Planted them all around the property, with 3 out at my deer meadow.

Non-Farm related, but something I may want to look back on (as this blog is my way of keeping track of stuff).... As of today, I've gone 30 days without smoking. Woohoo!


Miriam said...

There's a lot going on at your place! Congratulations on all of it, especially the not smoking - that's a tough one!

Rae said...

Thanks Miriam! The not smoking thing has been not fun, but I think I'm nearly free. :)

Paula said...

After all that I'm most proud of you quitting!!! Go, go, go! You will feel soooo much better!

Kelly said...

You are busy with all your feathered friends! Broody hens are soo grouchy! I had six in three nests, when I'd open the door to check on them it was crazy.
Congrats on not smoking! How did you do it? Cold turkey or with medicines?

Lindsey at NW Backyard Veggies said...

Yay for not smoking! Why pay someone to kill us when mother nature does it for free??

BTW - LOVING the duck names. Especially Beef with Broccoli. Classic.

And that 8.5 foot fence is a boss - you are totally not screwing around with that. Dig it.

Lisa Lynn said...

Lots of fun on the homestead! I've got a Rhodie gone broody too. Thing is, there's no rooster right now, so nothin's hatching. :)

Happy Homesteading!

Misty Meadows said...

You have been extremely busy!! Congrats on everything you have accomplished-especially going smoke free! Keep it up! You are doing wonders for yourself!