Hello fellow fowl lovers!
I have just recently gotten my first flock of assorted ducks and chickens. I grew up on a small farm in rural Missouri and have had an enduring love for all feathered critters ever since. As soon as my husband and I moved back to the "Show Me" state after living in Florida for the past eight years, I started my very own flock.
First came the ducklings: Four previously unknown breeds and genders, but time has proven that I have 2 Welsh Harlequins, Charles & Camilla-I would have rather named her Diana, but my mom's name was Diane, so I couldn't bring myself to name a duck as such. Two weeks later I got 1 Blue Sweedish (drake I believe) named Little Boy Blue (Blue for short) and a suspected Mallard that I lost to a hawk shortly after these pictures were taken.
Being that I could not wait to see ducks on the pond, A few weeks after I got my ducklings I picked up two adult ducks at the auction. I have 1 Mallard drake named simply, Mr. Mallard and a Welsh Harlequin drake named Fabio.
After realizing that Camilla was severly out numbered, I got two more, what I am hoping are female WH ducks...only time will tell.
I am very proud of the "Duck Dock" that my dearest husband built for my babies. The first picture is of Charles and Camilla. The second picture is of Charles, Camilla and since deceased mallard baby. Blue was being camera shy that day I suppose.
This is where I would pen them up every night until they got big enough to fend for themselves. It also worked well at providing contact with the big ducks so that a relationship could be established. I was hoping that the time spent in their pet carrier at night would encourage them to continue to do so after I took down their "Playpen", but they have yet to go into it except during the occasional rain storm. Camilla has used it to ward off Mr. Mallard's romantic advances. I'm hoping she will use it as a nesting site when she gets to be egg-laying age.
On to the chickens!
My first attempt at raising chickens was met with devastation and heart break after the neighbor's marauding dog came into our garage and massacred every one of the eight chicks I had started with. That very next day I replaced the chicks, but could not replace the the bond I had developed with the two Barred Rock pullets that I had gotten for my nieces for Easter. They were the sweetest. R.I.P little chickies. My dearest husband built a virtually predator-proof cage for my new flock that same day. I now have: 2 Barred Rock pullets, 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes pullets, 4 Easter Egger pullets, 2 Bantam chicks, 1 Bourbon Red turkey (hen I believe) named Whiskey, 1 Blue Slate turkey (gender unknow, but possibly a tom) also named Blue, and 1 Black Spanish turkey (most assuredly a tom based on his attempts to win the affections of Whiskey) named Pedro.
I will try to post some pictures of my girls, turkeys, and bannies and of their ingeniously designed home soon.
I hope you all enjoyed my "kids" as much as I have enjoyed yours. Everyone on this forum is wonderful. I'm sure I will turn to you in the future for guidance and suggestions.
Thanks for visiting!!!!
Well...I have learned that raising ducks and chickens is a past time rife with frustration.
My ducks all did well living in the pond until the snapping turtles made the pond hostile territory, in which they avoided at all costs. This would seem like the most intelligent response to their situation, but would prove to be a fatal mistake on the part of my sweet, yet hairbrained waterfowl. Being that my flock of unsuspecting ducks now spent the majoity of their time on the bank left them open for attack from every other predator lurking around at night. Needless to say my flock of 8 ducks has been reduced to a paltry pair I refer to as the odd couple. Mr. O'Mally my mallard drake and former leader of the pack has but one loyal follower remaining. Sven, my Blue Swedish (formally known as Blue) is the last of the babies I painstakingly raised in the "play pen". My husband and I have removed 11 snapping turtles from our pond and have found our "odd couple" are now much happier and more willing to spend time paddling in the open water.
Since my last update I have had some significant loses and a few additions.
I have since lost Sven when the pond froze over this past winter. He was attacked right out in the middle of the frozen pond. Mr O'Mally, my last remainng duck, was smart enough to know to come up to the chicken house and wait to be admitted. He's been there ever since. Seems he'd rather keep the company of a buch of chickens than risk his life on the open water.
On of my Easter Eggers didn't survive the winter either. My conclusion is that she wasn't smart enough to come in out of the cold. Then a few weeks ago I found my tom turkey, Pedro deceased in the floor of the coop. I was very upset to lose him. He was the sweetest tom turkey ever. He was such a gentleman. He never bothered the babies or showed any signs of aggressivness. RIP Pedro. About a week later I lost one of my Wyandotte hens. She laid the prettiest brown eggs of all my girls. She will also be sorley missed I have no idea what killed my poor babies, but everyone else is doing well with the exception of my Bourbon Red Turkey hen. She as a mysterious problem with both her feet. I intend to post some pictures of her feet to see if any one has any ideas as to what affliction she has.
When my turkeys started laying eggs this past January(strange I know) I couldn't bring myself to eat them, so I decided to hatch them. I ended up with 8 babies out of 14 eggs the first time around and only 1 out of 8 the second time. I am overrun with turkeys!!! I did find a home for 2 turkey babies and lost one to an injury. My husband also brought home a Bronze poult as a friend for the lone hatchling of my second round.
I also bought 2 Easter Egger babies and 2 Australorpe babies. My big chickens killed one of my Aussies and 1 of the Easter Eggers turned out to be a roo even though they were all supposed to be pullets.
1 Barred Rock Hen 1 Wyandotte hen 3 Easter Egger Hens 2 Turkey Hens 6 Various Poults 2 Easter Egger teenagers 1 Australorpe teenager 1 Mallard Drake