It’s technically been Spring for almost a month now…so why is it still 38 degrees and I still have to have my woodstove going practically *all* day? We have so much work to do outside, and we really need this weather to warm up.
A bit of news…not all good, of course.
Last year, one of my Buff Orpington hens went broody, and she had one egg ((we lost some along the way, because one of older hens ((not broody)), kept kicking her out of her box to lay her own egg…when there’s more than 1 box out there :\)) but with Gramma always getting in there, damn Gramma broke the egg. We felt so bad! We knew it was close to hatching time, and we found the egg broken, and the little chick was flat. However, she’s gone broody again, ((and taken over the high box…which is all the hens favorite box. But we’ve added a couple more high ones since she took that one over)) and she’s been sitting on two eggs for over a week now. In the past few days, another Buff has gone broody, and she’s sitting on two as well.
I would love more chickens, but I am inundated with eggs!! I have run out of egg cartons, and have moved onto a really big basket… And that basket weighs… 13 pounds! And that’s not all of them! I have about 10 dozen in the fridge, and another 8 or so dozen in the front room.
The dirtier eggs are duck eggs, the big off white and green ones. ((Sometimes they just plop out in the mud…Sometimes they’ve even laid them in their pool!))
So, back in February, I bought 10 more ducks. I got Khaki Campbells this time. ((Not sure yet how many females I have)) We still have our ducks we got last year ((2 males, 5 females)). When we got the new ones home, we soon noticed one was in pretty poor health, and that one died the next day. Then, we lost another one. So, down to 8. Then, we lost another one. Now our count is 7.
Well, about two weeks ago, with them having feathered out, we decided to move them out to the duck pen with the others. ((They were too big for their indoor brooder, and I wanted them to have more room.))
See, usually when we have new birds, they live in the house for a few weeks to up to two months ((depending on weather, the birds’ age,, etc.)) . In the beginning ((especially with the ducks, because of their love ((and need)) of water, it easy to keep their brooder clean. We have a big container for their swimming time, and when they were done swimming, they’d waddle over to the woodstove and preen themselves for like an hour, and then fall asleep. So, they got a few hours out of the brooder a day. But, as they get older, it’s a lot more work. I had a blanket for this new batch so when they were done swimming, I’d put down the blanket ((trying to keep them to one area…because, well…they poop a lot)) and they’d stay on it. They would get so excited and loud when I’d walk by them ((while they were in their brooder)) and they saw the big green and white blanket. Then they knew it was “out” time 🙂
Annyway… fast forward to a couple ((probably not even quite two)) weeks ago. Lots of blogs I’ve read said that when introducing new birds to a flock, you should keep the new birds separate at first ((though still in the same enclosure)). My pen is not set up with that. And besides, the only time I keep new birds separate is when we have meat chickens.
We had tested, ((a few days prior)) twice, with bringing the babies out and letting them roam the duck pen with the big girls. The only issue was one of my Pekin girls chased one of the babies. Exactly twice. But, I was nervous ((a little)) about them being out there full time.
Then moving day came ((it was actually pretty mild out)) and the babies just walked in like ‘Oh hai!’. Since then, they basically get along just fine. A lot of times, they lay in two separate groups, but it’s not uncommon to look out and see them all together. ((No pictures of that yet. I don’t go outside much))
Come the beginning of May, we’ll be adding another 30 meat chickens. ((Well, I’ll buy 35, cause there’s always one loss)) We were hoping to get them in the beginning of April, but the weather was so shitty ((and I don’t want them in the house for more than a week this time)), that I couldn’t get them. But it’s really okay, because we have to build a new pen for them.
I have so many photos on my phone that I’d like to get up on here…But I don’t feel like getting up to go get the USB wire.
Oh well. Maybe I’ll actually get back into blogging more often than every 6 months.