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White flag...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cozycritters, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. cozycritters

    cozycritters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Until this morning I had five young Embden geese and six young Rouen ducklings.

    Until this morning when my 16-week old chickens went on the warpath and massacred all but one of the geese and four of the ducklings-- one of which is in serious condition.

    I can't stomach it and I can't understand it. They have access to our whole (large) yard, plenty of food, plenty of water. They had no reason to break into the goose corner and kill everyone.

    We've been having nothing but disaster after disaster with our homestead lately-- with sick baby goats (the two we have!) With poultry and waterfowl losses...

    I'm just trying to keep a chin up for my kids. I don't want them to learn from this that when things get tough it's ok to quit.

    The thing is, this is *my* dream-- not my husbands. Our homestead is in the suburbs because I wanted it to happen so badly. He has been supporting me, but it's very clearly been my thing, and my territory... so my responsibility and my failures.

    Add to it that I am five months pregnant with my third son and that my pregnancies are very difficult, and I'm... defeated. I care deeply about each and every one of the animals we have here, and losing one is difficult, losing this many in such a stupid, pointless way, is devastating. I'm ready to throw in the towel and just admit that this dream of mine is a complete nightmare.

    edited to add: my three year old was the one that found them-- he's trying to be so tough, but these were his babies and he's THREE... its heart-breaking to see him put on his'big boy face' to be tough for mommy...
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  2. dichotomymom

    dichotomymom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2008
    Dayton Indiana
    Believe me when I say I'm not trying to be callous or insensitive but that is the way of the homestead. There are uncontrollables, simple mistakes and freaks of nature that make homesteading a challenge. If this is what you love, don't give it up!
  3. Deedee

    Deedee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    Kilgore, TX
    Oh Cozy, i am truely sorry this has happened. But don't give up, your dream will come true. If you need to wait a while then get you some more babies. Try to hold on, I know it's easier said than done.

    Many Hugs!!! [​IMG]
  4. mamanaturale

    mamanaturale Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    spokane, wa
    i am so sorry that happened. yeah its part of owning animals, but it is still super hard. there is nothing worse to me than losing animals. hugs to you and your big boy.
  5. HennyPennies2007

    HennyPennies2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2008
    I'm finding it difficult as well, at times. Sometimes it's like juggling chainsaws, one slip and everything gets bloody. I don't have kids, but I take care of my difficult, aging mom. That has put a huge strain on my marriage, my mental stability and physical health. My hubby supports me, but this too, is MY deal....I recently had to cull about 6 hens for health reasons and lost 4 peeps to stupidity. Things have a tendency for me to go in groups...it all hits the fan at once. I sell eggs etc. so it's a hobby/business. My vision is different than hubby's so I have to make sure I tow certain lines... and he hates it when things have to be culled....It is tough... what we do, but I believe it is something of a calling...and therefore is predisposed to failures and disappointments to overcome. Hang in there girlfriend... you ain't alone. [​IMG]
  6. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Take some time to mourn, you deserve that. It's obvious you care... but like it was said nature does as it wants and its beyond your control... so don't beat yourself up.

    Take a break for a little while. I took a break while I was pregnant with my daughter, and once she was a little older and was into animals I starting bring in new critters. She's only 2 now, so it wasn't long I had to wait.

    Don't worry, you will have your homestead dream... things will work out eventually. Introducing any new animal is going to be hard. I wish your husband was more involved with you. Mine did the same thing, said this was my little 'dream' and it was on me to care for it. However, he's grown attached over time and occasionally feeds the animals and has planted an orchard in the yard he cares for. I think its the peace that has set if from it all that makes him so happy.
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Very strange, actually. I've seen them kill their own kind and eat their entrails, but not what you've described.
    But who knows? Animals do what they do.

    Im sure it was a great shock, as you say. I feel for you - been in a similar place.

    But, it makes you want to rethink the whole "Wheeeeee, chickens are 'babies' and little lovey dovies [​IMG]..." bit, don't it?

    The Chickens World is a Savage Place
  8. cozycritters

    cozycritters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Thanks everyone...

    I'm trying to keep my chin up, but it's been constant mortality issues for the last three weeks. I ordered 10 pullets, 6 geese, 2 turkeys and 8 ducks from a hatchery and this is what we're down to (though I did sell three pullets and one duckling) to only have three ducklings (the fourth just died) and one goose is horrendous to me.

    So I guess it's going to be a couple ducks, the chickens, and my two little mini-milker goats-- which is fine... as long as I can keep *them* alive (which hasn't been easy, as we've just gone through a week of penicillin and banamine on the goatlings due to bacterial scour during which we almost lost them and I've only OWNED them for three weeks!)

    I'm not just doing this for fun, either-- I have some serious issues with food sensitivities, so, growing and raising my own food seems to be the only way I can have a 'normal' life. Right now it looks like I may be extremely sensitive to pesticides and other chemicals used to treat foods-- like eggs (I can eat ours, but store ones make me nauseous) and I can't eat/drink anything that's been pasteurized... so everything feels like a huge step backwards when things go wrong.

    Thanks again for the sympathy [​IMG]
  9. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    May I make a suggestion, based on centuries of experience?

    Whittle your numbers to a few breeds. Whether chicken, goose or duck is not what matters as much as maintaining fidelity of breed type.

    In practice, this means sticking to a tried and true breed, one that has long term proof behind it. Then plan well before you dive in and work from the outset to get that one breed stable. You can "branch out" later.

    I would recommend chickens as they are nearly self-regulating. They tend to be less troublesome than waterfowl, too... at least marginally so. And right now you dont need variables, you need planned stability.

    This thinking will unsettle many here @ BYC, but it has always been an admonition for those who would be successful at poultry rearing. Every old book I have on the subject - and that is many, I assure you - makes this point in no uncertain terms. They invariably recommend chickens as the place to start, usually offering one of the Big 5 breeds as best.**

    Why should we ignore such wisdom?

    BYC, much as I love it, can sometimes be detrimental with it's "free for all, yard confetti" approach to animal husbandry. With so many different pots going at once, it makes you wonder:

    Which one will suffer when you're not looking?...

    At this point, Focus and Dedication to a standardized process are what will probably save the day.


    ** BIG 5

    Plymouth Rock
    Rhode Island/New Hampshire Red
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  10. cozycritters

    cozycritters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    I've had our chickens for about a year-- a Barred Rock, Two EEs, and one Buff Orpington... the middle-sized ones were ones I hatched in my incubator from my MILs Golden Comets and my Blue Hamburg (who we ate)-- we just processed the cockerels from the younger ones.

    I've been hatching and owning ducks geese and chickens-- the goats are our newest addition and I got the new ducks and geese due to a move-- but this is not my first experience with them.

    Just to clarify that these were young, but that doesn't mean that I'm green and new to this. My baby goats are young too, but, again, I have years of experience with them. It's just taken about five years to get the DH to approve [​IMG]

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