I’ve just been looking back over posts and I noticed I haven’t been doing that many and there’s quite a bit that’s changed, so here we are! For those who read it, I’m not sure what the layout is going to look out after today because I’ve renewed the domain but not the wordpress plan and I’m just waiting and seeing what it will be like. I think it means that there may be some ads on the blog, but otherwise I’m not sure.
Well, the ducks are now about ten weeks old, we lost one of them, I went up one morning and it was dead and had a small cut on its neck (I’m wondering whether a mink tried to grab it somehow), so we now have five ducks and I’m still waiting to see whether they’re male or female. There’s two that I don’t even know what breed they are, they were meant to be Ancona, but they aren’t. They’re a paler brown than the three khaki Campbell’s and have orange beaks and legs. They all seem healthy and happy. They’re now kept up on the field within a large square of electric poultry fencing. They have our old bath for a pond and they’ve succeeded very well at making half of their run a muddy watery plane that they seem to love. They love mud and muddy water and are constantly dabbling and foraging in it.
The chickens next! Well we have two Buff Orpington girls (the original ones that we hatched just over a year ago).
I had to dispatch the rooster as he got vicious. But since I last wrote about the chickens, I’ve bought two hybrid birds from a company called freeway poultry (they deliver to drop off points throughout Ireland),
One has just started laying and she is laying blue eggs, which is a nice surprise.
I also bought two ten week old cream legbar hens off a man who hatches them in Longford. He has a really good set up and he showed the kids and myself his chicks in the brooder. He has brooders (where the chicks go when they’re first hatched) set up in his garage rather than brooding them in the house like I have. The leg bars are now about fifteen weeks old and have just been let out with the other four in the main run.
They’re doing ok but the buffs are doing their best to put them in their place. Such are chickens! Pecking order and all that. They’re fine though, no blood shed, just a bit of pecking. They won’t be laying for a little while yet.
Last but not least, the three light Sussex that we hatched are now outside in our old coop which has a little run on it and they’re alongside the other chickens so they’ll be slightly used to each other once the time comes to let them into the main run. That’ll probably be in about six weeks I think, or possibly before if they get very large.
So to sum up, at the moment we have six hens roaming in the main run together, there’s three more waiting until they’re big enough and I’m going to try hatching one more time and then I think we’ll have enough. The eggs that I’m waiting for are for Silver Laced Wyandottes. They’re very nice looking birds and again like the sussex and the Buffs they’re dual purpose, so are good for meat or eggs.
The light sussex.
The quail are all outside in their run, I’ve had to remove most of the males this week. There were too many of them and the females were starting to look a bit bedraggled. They’re a lot happier since then and are laying really well. I’m keeping them outside on the grass unlike a lot of other set ups I’ve seen and they seem to really like it. I think we now have eleven girls and one boy. Trivia fact! A group of quail is called a covey.
Some people may wonder what I’ve done with the males, I processed them and they’re in the freezer to eat at a later date. I don’t like killing the birds (I think I’d be a bit weird if I did), but I do like that they’re healthy, happy birds that have been kept well and that’s a bonus to a meat eater. We have also noticed that since we’ve processed a few of our own birds we are more picky and actually have more of a thankful attitude about the food we eat whether it’s ours or shop bought. I suppose you just become more aware of the work that goes in, in a lot of ways.
There’s also a lot of growing etc going on at the moment, it’s the growing time of year I suppose, but I won’t write much more as this is fairly hefty as it is. I do looooooove the growing though. We have a lot growing at the moment. I’ve tried to be a bit selective this year, to minimise wastage, so to me, the greenhouse looks a bit bare, it isn’t – everything is just spaced properly for once. Haha.
Anyway, see ya! Oh yes and apparently we can register for our vaccinations at some point this week. Not sure how long you have to wait, but it’s definitely a step forward. Bring it on!